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The lowest grade of mental deficiency; the individual's mental age is less than 3 years.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a severe degree of mental retardation—oligophrenia. Speech is usually undeveloped and inarticulate, the movements are awkward and poorly differentiated. Desires are elementary and remain unchecked. In some cases idiocy is characterized by motor and general disinhibition; in others the patients are sluggish and inactive. Reaction to the surroundings is absent (the surroundings attract no attention). Training for habits of personal care and behavior is severely limited; education, even in auxiliary specialized institutions, is virtually unworkable. Treatment has been developed for some forms of idiocy (glutamic acid, sedatives and neuroleptic agents, diets, and surgery). A major role is played by therapeutic pedagogy—systematic training for customary, elementary habits of behavior, personal care, and ordering of reactions.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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