Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Authored by: Edward A. Polloway , James R. Patton , Marvalin A. Nelson

Handbook of Special Education

Print publication date:  April  2011
Online publication date:  May  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415800716
eBook ISBN: 9780203837306
Adobe ISBN: 9781136869624


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The focus of this chapter is on individuals who have mild intellectual and developmental disabilities. The concept of intellectual disabilities represents a contemporary change from mental retardation, initially coined as an option to feeblemindedness (Polloway & Lubin, 2009). The intellectual disabilities term has become the preferred referent for individuals across the lifespan. At the same time, because mental retardation is well-entrenched within our bureaucracy (such as in federal reports), we continue to use the term in this chapter as applicable.

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