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Chapter V

Mental retardation - F70-F79


A condition of arrested or incomplete development of the mind, which is especially characterized by impairment of skills manifested during the developmental period, skills which contribute to the overall level of intelligence, i.e. cognitive, language, motor, and social abilities. Retardation can occur with or without any other mental or physical condition.

Degrees of mental retardation are conventionally estimated by standardized intelligence tests. These can be supplemented by scales assessing social adaptation in a given environment. These measures provide an approximate indication of the degree of mental retardation. The diagnosis will also depend on the overall assessment of intellectual functioning by a skilled diagnostician.

Intellectual abilities and social adaptation may change over time, and, however poor, may improve as a result of training and rehabilitation. Diagnosis should be based on the current levels of functioning.

The following fourth-character subdivisions are for use with categories F70-F79 to identify the extent of impairment of behaviour:

.0 With the statement of no, or minimal, impairment of behaviour
.1 Significant impairment of behaviour requiring attention or treatment
.8 Other impairments of behaviour
.9 Without mention of impairment of behaviour

Use additional code, if desired, to identify associated conditions such as autism, other developmental disorders, epilepsy, conduct disorders, or severe physical handicap.

  • F70 Mild mental retardation
  • F71 Moderate mental retardation
  • F72 Severe mental retardation
  • F73 Profound mental retardation
  • F78 Other mental retardation
  • F79 Unspecified mental retardation





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