Secondary prevention

Early recognition and diagnosis, good medical care, and rehabilitation of injuries or diseases can avoid or reduce permanent damage which could lead to mental retardation. Examples include the screening for and early treatment of congenital hypothyroidism and phenylketonuria. (2) Secondary prevention also includes planning or genetic counselling after the birth of a child with a genetic disorder. (4Q) The examination of asymptomatic parents and close relatives in order to detect carriers is part of genetic counselling. As yet there are no measures to prevent the underlying biology processes in genetic disorders. (l,23)

Once children with mental retardation have been identified, accurate assessment of aetiology and associated conditions, therapy, and rehabilitation lessen the risk of so-called caused learning disability, that is leaving the person with mental retardation without the possibility of developing further because he or she is unable to share in the learning experiences of the peer group.(6728)

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