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  1. 1. Environmental Pollutants as a Cause of Mental RetardationBrought to you by: Shelby Towater, Miranda Bradfordand Riley Bowers
  2. 2. Environmental Causes• Individuals with mild intellectual disabilities, those whorequire less intensive supports, make up about 90% of allpersons with MR/ID.• The majority of those cases exhibit no evidence of organicpathology—no brain damage or other biological problem.• When no biological factor is evident in an individual withmental retardation, the cause is presumed to be psychosocialdisadvantage, the combination of a poor social environmentearly in the child’s life.•Professionals sometimes use the term developmentalretardation to refer to intellectual disability thought to becaused primarily by environmental influences such as minimalopportunities to develop early language, child abuse andneglect, and/or chronic social or sensory deprivation.
  3. 3. Key contributors to the cycle of environmentally caused retardation:1. Limited parenting practices that produce low rates of vocabulary growth in early childhood.2. Instructional practices in middle childhood and adolescence that produce low rates of academic engagement during the school years.3. Lower rates of academic achievement and early school failure and early school dropout.4. Parenthood and continuance of the progression into the next generation.
  4. 4. Prevention• Biggest single preventive strike against mentalretardation was the development of an effective Rubellavaccine in 1962. -When contracted to mothers during the first 3 months ofpregnancy, it causes severe damage in 10% to 40% ofunborn children.• Invasive diagnostic tests, such as Amniocentesis andChorionic Villi Sampling, can confirm the presence ofvarious disorders.• In the United States, women who are at risk for givingbirth to a baby with a disabilities on the basis of theparents’ genetic backgrounds are commonly referred togenetic counseling.
  5. 5. Your pregnancy, the environment, and your baby.• Toxic exposure through maternal substanceabuse such as alcohol and environmentalpollutants are two major causes of preventableintellectual disabilities.•Alcohol• Smoking• Drugs• Poor nutrition
  6. 6. Alcohol, pregnancy and your child.•Alcohol is now recognized as the leading teratogen to which the fetus is likely tobe exposed.•The most severe result of alcohol use is fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), a lifelongcondition characterized by poor growth (in the womb, after birth, or both),abnormal facial features, and damage to the central nervous system.• The central nervous system damage may include mental retardation, delays inphysical development, vision and hearing problems, and a variety of behavioralproblems.• Frequent drinking (seven or more alcoholic drinks per week, including liquor,wine, and/or beer) or binge drinking (four or more drinks on any one occasion)greatly increases the risk that your baby will suffer from FAS.
  7. 7. Smoking while pregnant? ABSOLUTELY NOT.•Smoking cigarettes is probably the No. 1 cause of adverse outcomes for babies.• When you smoke during pregnancy, that toxic brew gets into your bloodstream,your babys only source of oxygen and nutrients.• Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including truly nastythings like cyanide, lead, and at least 60 cancer-causing compounds. .• A shortage of oxygen can have devastating effects on your babys growth anddevelopment.• On average, smoking during pregnancy doubles the chances that a baby will beborn too early or weigh less than 5 1/2 pounds at birth. Smoking also more thandoubles the risk of stillbirth.
  8. 8. Say NO to drugs.•Studies have shown that consumption of illegal drugs during pregnancy canresult miscarriage, low birth weight, premature labor, placental abruption, fetaldeath, and even maternal death.• Marijuana, like cigarette smoke, contains toxins that keep your baby fromgetting the proper supply of oxygen that he or she needs to grow.• According to the Organization of Teratology Information Services (OTIS), duringthe early months of pregnancy cocaine exposure may increase the risk ofmiscarriage. Later in pregnancy, cocaine use can cause placental abruption.• Using heroin during pregnancy increases the chance of premature birth, low birthweight, breathing difficulties, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), bleeding within thebrain (intracranial hemorrhage), and infant death.
  9. 9. Malnutrition•A poor pregnancy diet can lead to various nutritionaldeficiencies.• Eating too little (or too little of the needed foods)increases the risk of giving birth to a baby who may beborn too soon or too small, have birth defects, or havebreathing and blood chemistry problems at birth.• You may develop malnutrition if you lack of a singlevitamin in the diet.
  10. 10. What causes an intellectual disability?
  11. 11. Works Cited"Drinking Alcohol during Pregnancy | BabyCenter." BabyCenter | Homepage -Pregnancy, Baby, Toddler, Kids. Baby Center, Oct. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2011.<>."Using Illegal Drugs during Pregnancy : American Pregnancy Association :American Pregnancy Association." Promoting Pregnancy Wellness : AmericanPregnancy Association. American Pregnancy Association, May 2011. Web. 15Nov. 2011.<>.Woolston, Chris. "How Smoking during Pregnancy Affects You and Your Baby |BabyCenter." BabyCenter | Homepage - Pregnancy, Baby, Toddler, Kids. BabyCenter, Apr. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <>.