The American Psychiatric Association definition of mental retardation, as published in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) is used to define cognitive disorder. An individual would present with mental retardation if all of the following are present:
- significantly subaverage intellectual functioning
- an IQ of approximately 70 or below;
- significant limitations in adaptive functioning in at least 2 of the following skill areas:
- self care;
- home living;
- social/interpersonal skills;
- use of community resources;
- self direction;
- functional academic skills;
- health and safety;
- onset must occur before age 18 years
The degree of severity reflecting intellectual impairment:
- Mild: IQ level 50-55 to approximately 70
- Moderate: IQ level 35-49 to 50-55
- Severe: IQ level 20-25 to 35-40
- Profound: IQ level below 20 or 25
- Severity Unspecified: When there is strong presumption of Cognitive Disorder but the person’s intelligence is untestable by standard tests (American Psychiatric Association, 2000)
Students who have been diagnosed with a Cognitive Disorder by a qualified assessor may require a range of school based services depending on level of need and functioning. Programming decisions are made by the student’s program planning team.
When it has been determined that a student’s needs cannot be met through accommodations, modified courses, or alternate programs and courses,an Alternate Functional Curriculum may be required. Students who require a functional curriculum are identified as having moderate, severe or profound impairments in cognition and severe deficits in adaptive functioning as evaluated through the comprehensive assessment process.
- Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living
- Canadian Association of Community Living
- Human Resources Labour & Employment
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