SPECIAL EDUCATION & EARLY CHILDHOOD
Tasks in Special Education and Early Childhood
Defining Intellectual Disability and Degrees Thereof
Language is a powerful tool or a powerful weapon. The language used to described non-normative populations is often accompanied by a vigorous and often difficult discussion regarding what kinds of words are academically, professionally, and medically describing abnormal populations. One such term with an interesting history is the term "mental retardation." Within the recent years of the 21st century, there has been a shift away from the term mental retardation and more toward the phrase intellectual disability. The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) has been an influential party with respect to this linguistic, conceptual, and social shift. Dunlap (2009) elaborates upon the definition of mental retardation that the AAIDD proposes, stating that it is "a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive...
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