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Temas em Psicologia

versão impressa ISSN 1413-389X


DE CARVALHO, Erenice Natália Soares  e  MACIEL, Diva Maria Moraes de Albuquerque. The new conception of mental deficiency according to the American Association on Mental Retardation-AAMR: 2002 System. Temas psicol. [online]. 2003, vol.11, n.2, pp. 147-156. ISSN 1413-389X.

The 2002 System of the American Association on Mental Retardation presents basic principles to define mental deficiency, diagnosis, classification, and the design of support systems. The theoretical proposal is functionalist, systemic, and bioecological, including intellectual, relational, adaptational, organicist, and contextual dimensions. Mental deficiency is conceptualized as a deficit condition that entails intellectual abilities; adaptive behavior (conceptual, practical, and social); community participation; social roles and interactions; etiological and health conditions; contextual, environmental, cultural aspects and life opportunities for the individual. The support paradigm proposed emphasizes the nature and the intensity of support, as well as its influence over the level of functionality of the individual. Issues related to record, evaluation and diagnostic instruments are discussed. They reveal the need for the establishment of consensual conceptual and evaluative parameters in order to allow for the application of quantitative and qualitative strategies that can be valid for investigation purposes, for they enable an effective identification of mental deficiency as well as the efficiency of the assistance provided to this specific population.

Palavras-chave : Mental deficiency; Special needs; Special education.

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