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APA: Retardation = Intellectual Disability

From a very sensitive Associated Press:

Changes proposed in how psychiatrists diagnose

By Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer Wed Feb 10

WASHINGTON – Don’t say "mental retardation" — the new term is "intellectual disability." No more diagnoses of Asperger’s syndrome — call it a mild version of autism instead. And while "behavioral addictions" will be new to doctors’ dictionaries, "Internet addiction" didn’t make the cut.

The American Psychiatric Association is proposing major changes Wednesday to its diagnostic bible, the manual that doctors, insurers and scientists use in deciding what’s officially a mental disorder and what symptoms to treat. In a new twist, it is seeking feedback via the Internet from both psychiatrists and the general public about whether the changes will be helpful before finalizing them.

The manual suggests some new diagnoses. Gambling so far is the lone identified behavioral addiction, but in the new category of learning disabilities are problems with both reading and math. Also new is binge eating, distinct from bulimia because the binge eaters don’t purge.

Sure to generate debate, the draft also proposes diagnosing people as being at high risk of developing some serious mental disorders — such as dementia or schizophrenia — based on early symptoms, even though there’s no way to know who will worsen into full-blown illness…

The psychiatric group expects that overarching change could actually lower the numbers of people thought to suffer from mental disorders

Psychiatry has been accused of overdiagnosis in recent years as prescriptions for antidepressants, stimulants and other medications have soared. So the update of this manual called the DSM-5 — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition — has been anxiously awaited. It’s the first update since 1994, and brain research during that time period has soared…

The draft manual, posted at http://www.DSM5.org, is up for public debate through April, and it’s expected to be lively…

Most patient-advocacy groups already have adopted the term "intellectual disability" in place of "mental retardation." Just this month, the White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, drew criticism from former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and others for using the word "retarded" to describe some activists whose tactics he questioned. He later apologized.

But isn’t Mr. Emanuel correct under this new terminology, where “intellectual disability” replaces “retarded”?

After all, who can deny that the Democrats’ leftwing base suffer from some form of “intellectual disability”?

By the way, we’ve check the APA’s site, but there is still no word on whether ‘narcissism’ will be changed to ‘Obama’s Syndrome.’

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

16 Responses to “APA: Retardation = Intellectual Disability”

  1. GetBackJack says:


    This frees up the most excellent descriptive ‘Retard’ to be used correctly in association with Democrats and the Media.

    Wonderful news.

  2. Dupree says:

    “The psychiatric group expects that overarching change could actually lower the numbers of people thought to suffer from mental disorders…”

    So by redefining the name of the condition, they can magically cure those currently afflicted? I don’t think so. Just goes to show how liberals can fudge the numbers on anything, just by reframing the context. This methodology is probably how Climate-gate came to be.

    • TwilightZoned says:

      If I had to guess, the IQ will be lowered in order to qualify one as being “intellectually disabled”. Which was lowered by 10 points years ago in the public schools where I live. So if this is the direction they are considering again, it would cause less people to be considered “intellectually disabled”.

      Since the 70’s the label has gone from mentally retarded to mentally handicapped to intellectual disability. The push seems to be coming mainly from the parents who are struggling with the label(s). IMHO, they see it as an extension of themselves.

    • proreason says:

      “the IQ will be lowered in order to qualify one as being “intellectually disabled”. Which was lowered by 10 points years ago in the public schools where I live.”


      Now why might that be? Life doesn’t seem to be getting any simpler. It seems to me that technolgy in general, computer technology specifically, and the explosion of information via the internet and mobile technologies has made getting by even more complex, not less.

      Yet, here we hear of some evidence via TZ that people with less intellectual capabilities are now being considered normal.

      I just can’t think of ANY reason why that might be so.

      And if it’s true, does raising the bar to qualify for special help do any good, either for the person or society in general?

  3. MinnesotaRush says:

    Rahmbo has upstaged o-blah-blah! He managed to get health care reform!

    Wonder what they’re gonna do about “effing”?

    • Right of the People says:


      It’s effing intellectual disability now. Don’t you effing know anything, you intellectual disability?

      Somehow that doesn’t have the same impact as retard. This whole thing is effing retarded.

  4. canary says:

    I think the AP didn’t do their homework. It the ICD which insurers and the federal government insist doctors use to go along with the computer code friendly programs. Dentistrys are frusterataed with their code sytem they have to use now. The DSM-IV is the Universal Psyciatric book with much fewer diagnoses than the ICD which contains every diagnose from an ankle having pain code to an ankle having swelling. Doctors now will put down several codes to cover it all, and calling it level of treatment to get more money.
    So, while the DSM-V will still be used as a universal diagnostic book, the International Code Diagnositcs is leaving from ICD-9 to ICD-10, that the federal gov is forcing to be the only manual.
    They have no internet addiction (IAD?) but in 2006 they created a diagnose for “road rage” (IED) ‘intermittent explosive disorder.’

    A doctor told me this new DSM-V, when it’s being outdated per computer is all about selling books to make money.

    And it’s quite an education to hear parents over the years add to their children’s learning disabilities, ADD, ADD-H, OCD ODD (opposite difiant disorder, ohhh your child is rebellious?) and then as they do illegal drugs it’s the bio-polar. Which then the cause has to be differenitiated from
    genes, trauma, or street drugs frying the brain.

    • canary says:

      And so it was Clinton that started all this driving up health costs, and reform can lower the costs, but Obama’s promises to add even more computerization than we’ve already had to go to at federal governements enforcement, it’s scary.

  5. canary says:

    sorry, trouble editing. CID (Computer Illiterate Disorder) & bad eyes :)

  6. joeblough says:

    “intellectual disability”

    Now there’s a slippery slope sort of definition for you.

    I could make a couple of dozen diagnoses right off the top of my head.

    We’re going to need one hell of a big hospital for this one.

  7. jobeth says:

    As a grandmother raising a ‘mentally disabled’ granddaughter, this is getting ridiculous.

    The term ‘retarded’ is a perfectly good word that has been so misused in such despicable ways it now is a forbidden word…along with the “N” word and others.

    Although I don’t see anything wrong with the word my granddaughter’s mother hated it and thus my mildly ‘retarded’ granddaughter learned to hate it.

    We use the term ‘mentally disabled’ so she understands she has difficulty in learning but is not “stupid”. This works for her. And if I may brag a bit she has raised her IQ level 16 points since she came to live with us. We treat her like a normal child but break things down in small learning bites and in the end she gets the non abstract. She has even gotten better understanding the abstract.

    When Obama was running, I explained his theory of “spreading the wealth’. She got it! You would have been proud of her…She went around explaining that concept to other people, telling them what he advocated. She was wonderful! :-D We try to keep her aware of the politics around her. On a simple level of course, but she gets it. There is no excuse for those more intellectually blessed.

    This has gotten so PC that even ARC (Association for Retarded Children) have dropped the actual name and now call themselves simply “ARC” , not standing for anything.

    My local ARC who is not affiliated with the National org., renamed themselves “ARC” standing for “Advocacy Resource Center”.

    All this name changing to avoid the usage of the word ‘retarded’ is nothing but PC craziness.

    But since so many now have a poor reaction to the word even I try not to use it.

    What ever happened to ‘Freedom of Speech”?

    • proreason says:

      Very interesting, jobeth, that you have been able to bring your granddaughter’s IQ level up so much.

      I wonder if that is unique or whether it can happen regularly with the right kind of attention.

      It’s an amazing gift you have been able to give her. It’s must be one of the most important things you have done in your life.

    • jobeth says:

      Thank you Pro, I do think it has been one of the most important things we’ve done. Especially for her.

      Her mom, is my own daughter who seemed to veer away from the way she was raised ( I have 4 other children who have all done nicely and are great parents), and involved herself with drugs…thus her problems…etc.
      Makes me bristle when people want to legalize drugs and try to say it’s no anyone else’s business. Drugs leave a tragic trail of hurt.

      My granddaughter was, in my opinion, warehoused in a public “special” school in the “inner city” of Jacksonville Fl. Lots of black kids (and teachers!) who spoke Ebonics and thus she did as well. That was the first thing we tackled. Its been a struggle to clean up her language skills. But thankfully, she understands why she must speak properly and keeps a great attitude about being corrected. There seemed to be no real learning at that school.

      We enrolled her in a similar school near us a couple of counties away, but it was leaps and bounds better than her other school. The teachers could also see her potential and worked with us to get her into a cloistered class in the regular high school that allowed a few main stream classes for her IE art, dancing etc. That allowed her to mix among ‘normal’ kids. Before, all she knew was her profoundly ‘retarded” sister and the other slow and mentally disabled at that old school.

      As I said, even with her deficits in the back of our minds we don’t let her off the hook for good decisions etc. We insist she think through her decisions.

      Last night she wanted pie and ice cream and we made her count up all the calories and told her to make her best choice, but it was hers to make.
      She made the right one. She was shocked at how many calories were in there.

      We’ve also been working on functional basic arithmetic and reading. Both of which she had no experience with before she came to us. She had never been inside a store by herself at 17. Now she goes into the store and pays for things off a list she reads…after we go over it with her. But she has learned independance.

      In short I think she has been neglected not only by my daughter but by a poor school system who as I said warehoused these kids…easier for the teachers who couldn’t even speak well themselves. I think her first IQ test was probably artificially low, but even her most recent teachers were thrilled with her progress.

      Even so she still registers borderline, just below the official “retarded’ level. She is now 23 but shows some of the development issues of a 15 year old who is trying to become more indepenant. That is a good thing. Perhaps there is yet a bit more developement in there. :-D

      She will always need to have someone around to help her with $$ and such and will need someone to help her with Social Security issues,etc but she leads a very active life and is a social butterfly who collects friends like others collect quarters! lol

      She ‘works” helping out a friend who has a business supplying and caring for plants to offices etc. She’s a hard worker.

      But I especially loved that she could tell so called normal adults why Obama was NOT a good choice! She seems to get it. She is always telling us why he’s wrong, even when we didn’t discuss a topic with her.

      Once again, thanks. but I better get off here as I’m a bit off topic. :-D

    • Confucius says:

      Thank you for telling your story.

      Your strength and selflessness are inspiring.

    • jobeth says:

      Thank you Confucius.

      I’m a bit embarrassed…The real credit goes to my granddaughter though. She is the one doing all the right things for herself.

      We just provided what most grandparents would do for their grandchild. However she is a wonderful blessing to us and a big help. We call her “legs” as she provides us with her “gopher’ skills since Mr. and I both have joint issues in our legs. Very symbiotic relationship! ;-D

    • Confucius says:

      I add your humility.

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