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Mental Retardation Tasks facing early professi

Tasks facing early professionals working in mental retardation differed from those facing mental retardation professionals today. The area called multicultural studies, or the subject dealing with multiculturalism, has called attention to the cultural diversity inherent in a changing population. Cultural diversity is a difficult and complex matter for professionals working in the field of mental retardation. Before dramatic population shifts in the culture, i.e., recent waves of non-English speaking immigrants, mental retardation professionals were less attentive to cultural differences which today are thought to make the evaluative process more complex.

Assessment bias is an area in which one has to be especially careful when dealing with a multicultural population. For example, how much of a client's learning difficulty is due to some organic deficiency, and how much is simply due to cultural differences? Does the client think in English, or the native language? If the client is a child, does he or she tend to think in more than one language, easily making the transition from one to the other? If an adult, does the client experience interference between the native language and an adopted tongue? These are just some of the questions that serve to make the mental health professional's job more complex in the present. If professionals are using diagnostic screening tests, it is exceedingly important that assessment bias not be allowed to enter the diagnosis.

Some cultural differences are so dramatic that they include basic modes of behavior--much more dramatic examples of cultural difference than mere language-learning difficulties. The differences between Native Americans and the dominant culture as outlined on p. 38 of the text are remarkable. Here we are talking about different philosophical approaches to perceiving the world. Many of these differences are at the subconscious level, so deeply are they acculturat...

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Mental Retardation Tasks facing early professi. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 12:46, April 26, 2019, from