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Mental retardation Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Mental retardation. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. What exactly do you mean by mental retardation?

    Why: mental retardation is reduced mental ability or intelligence. It is otherwise known as intellectual disability. It is defined as significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with difficulties with functioning in everyday life. The disability must be manifested during the developmental period and thus excludes disabilities that result from brain damage occurring in adult life. Examples include fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, Down syndrome, trisomy 18, agenesis of the corpus callosum, cerebral palsy, Chiari malformation, fetal alcohol syndrome, hydrocephalus, Rett's syndrome, Soto's syndrome, microcephaly, autism, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and many other childhood syndromes.

  2. What age or stage was the person diagnosed with mental retardation?

    Why: Children with mental retardation may present in 4 different ways. They may be diagnosed in the newborn period due to recognizable malformations which are usually associated with mental retardation such as Down syndrome. They may be diagnosed due to developmental delay. They may be diagnosed as a result of surveillance of infants at increased risk of developmental problems such as very low birth weight. They may be diagnosed with feeding or behavioral problems which on investigation are found to be associated with mental retardation.

  3. What are the details of the pregnancy, birth and new born period?

    Why: may detect prenatal infections, prenatal drugs and toxins, birth trauma, neonatal infection as a possible cause of mental retardation.

  4. Was the child born prematurely?

    Why: must make allowance for prematurity i.e. if birth was at 32 weeks gestation, 8 weeks should be subtracted from the chronological age when assessing development, so that milestones would be expected to be reached 2 months later than a baby born at full term.

  5. Was the child born with any birth defects?

    Why: e.g. any abnormality either structural or functional, identified at any age, but that began before birth such as anencephaly, phenylketonuria, muscular dystrophy, fetal alcohol syndrome, Down syndrome, hypothyroidism.

  6. What age was your baby when they reached certain milestones?

    Why: e.g. smiling, able to remain in sitting position unsupported, crawled, walked.

  7. Extent of vocabulary?

    Why: assesses expressive language.

  8. Is there consistent use of the same sounds for the same object or person?
  9. How many words can the child understand?

    Why: assesses receptive language. Receptive language is usually well in advance of expressive language.

  10. Are you concerned about your child's ability to hear?

    Why: the parent is usually the first to suspect a hearing problem.

  11. Environmental factors?

    Why: may also affect development. Determine if home environment is appropriately stimulating to enable good language development and presents opportunities for a wide variety of play experience.

  12. If school age, what is the child's academic progress like?
  13. Emotional issues either in the child or family that may be contributing to developmental problems?
  14. Family history?

    Why: e.g. developmental delay, genetic disorders.

  15. Alcohol history in mother?

    Why: to assess chance of fetal alcohol syndrome.

  16. Illicit drug use history in mother?
  17. Possible poisoning?

    Why: e.g. lead poisoning may cause mental retardation.

  18. Poor social interaction and language delay in a child?

    Why: e.g. poor eye contact, aloneness, difficulties relating to peers. Most children with autism also have an intellectual disability.

  19. Developmental milestone delay in children?

    Why: e.g. if not walking by 18 months consider Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy 10-15% have an intellectual disability.

  20. Decreased hair and decreased skin pigment?

    Why: would suggest phenylketonuria.

  21. Symptoms of Coffin-Lowry syndrome?

    Why: e.g. mental retardation, wide bulbous nose, low nasal bridge, moderate excess hairiness, finger and nail abnormalities (especially the 5th finger) and large ears. The full syndrome occurs only in males.

  22. Symptoms of Down syndrome?

    Why: e.g. mental retardation, flat facial profile, excess neck skin, small low set ears, reduced tone of the muscles of the limbs, round head, protruding tongue, short broad hands, incurving 5th digits. Down syndrome is the most common abnormality associated with intellectual disability. The spectrum of intellectual disability varies from mild to profound.

  23. Symptoms of Fragile X syndrome?

    Why: e.g. mental retardation, shy personality, long face, high forehead, large jaw, long ears, over flexible joints, large testicles. It is the second most common cause of intellectual disability (after Down syndrome).

  24. Symptoms of Incontinentia pigmenti?

    Why: e.g. brown skin streaks, mental retardation, disturbed dentition, eye defects, ear deformities.

  25. Symptoms of autism?

    Why: e.g. principle impairment is with social communication. Features include language delay with minimal use of speech and echolalia (involuntary repetition of a word or sentence just spoken by another person), poor eye contact, aloneness, difficulties in relating to peers, unusual preoccupation or stereotypical behaviors such as postural mannerisms. Most children with autism have an intellectual disability.

  26. Symptoms of Duchenne muscular dystrophy?

    Why: e.g. occurs only in males, 10-15% of boys will have an intellectual disability, delayed motor development with 50% not walking before 18 months of age, abnormal gait including toe walking, the inability to run normally, difficulty in climbing and rising from sitting or lying position, frequent falls.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Mental retardation:

The following list of conditions have 'Mental retardation' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Mental retardation or choose View All.

View All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Conditions listing medical complications: Mental retardation:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Mental retardation' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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