ADVANCES IN THE PREVENTION
AND TREATMENT OF
Frank J. Menolascino
Fred D. Strider
IN THIS CHAPTER current approaches to the prevention and treatment of mental retardation will be reviewed with a focus on specific psychiatric treatment and intervention appropriate to the combined syndromes of mental retardation and mental illness. In a concluding section, the authors will indicate their views regarding the essential elements of comprehensive approaches and treatment.
The model of primary (prevention of the appearance of a disorder), secondary (very early diagnosis, effective treatment, and return of the person to a normative state), and tertiary (minimization of the remaining handicaps and return of the person to as high a level of functioning as possible) prevention will be utilized to review the currently available and possible future preventive approaches in each of these three dimensions. Although this three-step approach may seem simple, it is actually quite complex because there are over 350 causes of mental retardation. Major prevention programs have been successful in certain states: for example, Illinois has been successful in the area of screening and prevention of lead poisoning; California has energetically encouraged public education concerning mental retardation; Connecticut has mounted an excellent program to prevent Rh blood incompatibility; and Massachusetts has a well-established program for discerning a number of preventable forms of inborn errors of metabolism. The