From whence came mental retardation? Asking why while saying goodbye.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
J. David Smith, Professor, Department Chair (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Reflections of the Senior Author The senior author (senior in more than one sense) was given cause to reflect on the meaning of the term mental retardation when he received his 30-year certificate and pin for continuous membership in the American Association on Mental Retardation in 2005. When he became a member of the organization in 1975 as a doctoral student at Columbia University, it was the American Association on Mental Deficiency that he joined. Although the focus of his studies at Columbia was mental retardation and even though that term had been the accepted terminology in the field for many years, the primary organization for students, professionals, scholars, and advocates in mental retardation still used the term mental deficiency in its moniker. This remained the case for the first 10 years of his membership. He is now a member, of course, of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the official name as of January 1, 2007. He is also a member and board member of the Division on Developmental Disabilities of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), which was formerly known as Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (MR/DD), and earlier still as CEC-MR. Although these organizations have not explicitly rejected mental retardation as a term, they have clearly acknowledged the importance to their identities of terminology that is more inclusive, less stigmatizing, or both.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2007
developmental disabilities, terminology, human conditions

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