Mentally retarded people are more prone to psychiatric disorder than the general population. The symptoms of their biological disorders, developmental processes, and interaction patterns may give atypical clinical pictures, particularly in moderately and severely mentally retarded individuals. It is probable that certain disorders are specifically associated with or even unique to mental retardation. Traditional nosological classifications do not adequately accommodate the phenomenology of psychiatric disorders in this population. A broader taxonomy which takes account of the atypical presentation of psychopathology in those who are mentally retarded is necessary.

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