Mental Retardation and Learning Disabilities
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Since intelligence tests were designed originally to diagnose mental retardation (see Chapter 1), it is eminently appropriate that this group be discussed first. Mental retardation (MR) has been recognized by societies for some time-at least since the Roman Empire. It has been said that Roman parents often threw their children with mental retardation into the Tiber River in order to not have to care for them, and Spartans killed or abandoned mentally retarded individuals. It was not until the Middle Ages that some societies began to care for these individuals’ needs (Weiss & Weisz, 1986). Given such potential dire consequences, one cannot help but wonder about the accuracy of the diagnoses that were made in those days!
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