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Mental retardation treatment plans include medical, emotional, and behavioral therapies. Physical therapy and educational programs may also be a part of mental retardation treatment. The type of disability, severity of the mental disability, and the physical limitations of the person will determine the type of therapy that will help the person reach his or her full potential. A physician will be able to oversee the person’s physical and mental health improvement, and should establish a treatment plan for the individual.
Medical mental retardation treatment plans may include surgical procedures and prescription medications to alleviate physical or mental problems caused by the condition. People with Down syndrome are more at risk for heart problems and intestinal tract disorders. Surgeries to correct these issues can be beneficial for the person's overall quality of life and life expectancy. Medications are sometimes given to treat conditions and symptoms caused by the person’s disability. Mood stabilizers are given to people with autism, and anticonvulsants are prescribed for mentally retarded persons affected by seizures.
Those with emotional and behavioral issues can undergo therapy as a mental retardation treatment. People diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome have trouble understanding social behaviors and interacting with others, and therapy can help individuals understand social norms, emotional behaviors, and how to respond and interact in social situations. This type of therapy will help to prepare people for work environments, school interactions, and for developing relationships with others.
People with certain types of disabilities may also have physical impairments. Physical therapy will help with motor skills, such as learning to dress and feed oneself as well as hand-eye coordination. This type of therapy will also increase the person’s muscle mass and prevent other health-related issues. Speech therapy is sometimes included in mental retardation treatment plans. Those with neurological disabilities may have trouble forming sounds or words, or the person could need help learning how to communicate thoughts and ideas to others.
Educational programs teach a person with a disability reading, writing, and math skills. These learning programs can also help a person learn a certain set of skills applicable for future job opportunities. Many schools employ special education professionals, which allows a child to obtain schooling in a traditional education environment while having the individual attention that he or she may need. Mental retardation treatment plans cannot cure the person’s disability, but these therapies can help to improve the person’s outlook, quality of life, and physical and emotional well-being.