Mental retardation classification

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Chelsea Mae Nobleza, M.D.[2]


There is no established system for the classification of [disease name].


[Disease name] may be classified according to [classification method] into [number] subtypes/groups: [group1], [group2], [group3], and [group4].


[Disease name] may be classified into [large number > 6] subtypes based on [classification method 1], [classification method 2], and [classification method 3]. [Disease name] may be classified into several subtypes based on [classification method 1], [classification method 2], and [classification method 3].


Based on the duration of symptoms, [disease name] may be classified as either acute or chronic.


If the staging system involves specific and characteristic findings and features: According to the [staging system + reference], there are [number] stages of [malignancy name] based on the [finding1], [finding2], and [finding3]. Each stage is assigned a [letter/number1] and a [letter/number2] that designate the [feature1] and [feature2].


The staging of [malignancy name] is based on the [staging system].


There is no established system for the staging of [malignancy name].


The DSM 5 Classification of Severity for Intellectual disability has veered away from IQ scores and now considers adaptive functioning as the basis for classification.[1] [2]

Classification of Intellectual Disability
Severity Level Conceptual Skills Social Skills Practical Skills
Mild Individuals can grasp simple mathematical operations like multiplication and division, write letters and lists; however, they have difficulty with complex tasks such as planning, strategizing, and abstract thinking. They have difficulty interpreting social cues, and there is risk for manipulation. They can do essential self-care and home activities as well as job applications but may require some support in banking, transportation and even raising a family.
Moderate Academic skill development is markedly slowed compared to peers and adults attain elementary level of knowledge. They can do basic skills like copy address and basic reading. There is a considerable gap in social skills compared to peers. They need constant support to succeed in communications in the work setting. There is some independence in self-care and house chores with constant reinforcement.
Severe Language, arithmetic, the concept of time, and money are markedly limited, and they need constant support in life. Speech is characterized by simple phrases and words. Constant support in all ADL is needed as they may also have motor comorbidities.
Profound Very limited communication skills but may acquire visuospatial skills such as matching and sorting. The individual communicates through non-verbal means and there may also be co-morbid motor and sensory impairments. Require daily supervision across a lifetime.


  1. Patel, Dilip R.; Apple, Roger; Kanungo, Shibani; Akkal, Ashley (2018). "Intellectual disability: definitions, evaluation and principles of treatment". Pediatric Medicine. 1: 11–11. doi:10.21037/pm.2018.12.02. ISSN 2617-5428.
  2. "Neurodevelopmental Disorders". 2013. doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.dsm01.