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Mental Retardation - Early Signs

Earliest recognition and acceptance of the presence of mental retardation in a child is its best management. Some easily recognizable telltale signs of the future intellectual handicap at various stages of childhood are as follows:

0 to 4 weeks

Delay in the onset of crying. Baby turning blue before crying. Absence of brisk movements of all four limbs. Difficulty or absence of suckling movements. Inability to respond to rattle and inability to produce throaty cooing / gurgling sounds by 4 weeks.

1 month to 12 months

Delay in head holding and inability of the arms to become active on sight of dangling objects (expected 16 weeks)

Delay in learning to sit (expected 7 months) and delay in standing (expected 12 months)

Inability to laugh aloud and produce sustained cooing, gurgling sounds (expected 4 months)

Inability to voice sounds like ‘ah’ ‘ah’ or ‘m’ ‘m’ ‘m’ while crying (expected 7 months)

Inability to respond to name (expected 10 months)

1 year to 2 years

Inability to walk independently without frequent falls and walking upstairs with one hand held (expected 18 months)

Inability to say 10 meaningful words including name (expected 18 months)

Inability to run by 2 years and inability to use three words sentences and carry out four simple directions by 2 years

2 years to 3 years

Inability to ride a tricycle, inability to feed self and inability to describe what is happening in a picture

3 years to 4 years

Inability to climb stairs independently, copy a cross, name a colour and inability to play with other children

4 years to 5 years

Inability to skin, copy a square, draw a man, name money, dress and undress and inability to ask meaning of words

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