Deficiency Basics


A deficiency is a fault or a flaw. The term, which comes from the Latin word deficiency, can also refer to the lack of a certain property that is characteristic of something.

For example: «The doctor told me that I have a calcium deficiency», «The deficiency of this method is evident: the children do not learn and, in addition, they get bored», «Experts believe that the building collapsed due to a deficiency in its foundations. ”

An individual suffers from a motor deficiency when they have problems in locomotion.

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Different types of deficiencies

The motor deficiency, is the neuronal deficiency that produces problems in the locomotion (the movements) of the person. Those who suffer from this dysfunction have difficulties of various degrees to move or to coordinate their movements.

Growth hormone deficiency, finally, arises when the subject fails to produce the appropriate amount of the so-called growth hormone. Various statistics maintain that this imbalance affects about one in four thousand children. Hypoglycemia and dwarfism are some of the main effects of this deficiency that appears due to genetic mutations, trauma, tumors or congenital diseases.

In the case of mental deficiency, it refers to a deficit in intellectual capacity that is noticed from childhood and that generates difficulties in behavior that is considered normal.

Currently, however, specialists prefer to use the term intellectual disability and focus on how people who suffer from this cognitive disorder can improve their quality of life, integrate into society and acquire greater autonomy in their actions.

A growth hormone deficiency may be linked to hypoglycemia.

Some related definitions

The World Health Organization has developed the definitions of some concepts that are often confused with each other but that mean clearly different things, these are:

Deficiency : Mismatches in the way of behaving that reveal an abnormal functioning of the intellect, lower than normal expected given the age and sexuality of the person.

Disability : any restriction or abnormal functioning in the physiological, anatomical or psychological aspects of the organism (loss of memory, any sense or limb)

Handicap : situation in which an individual is at a disadvantage compared to another because of a disability that prevents him from comfortably carrying out his social role. (Inability to find work, social relationships, state of anxiety or depression)

Despite the acceptance of these definitions, some specialists maintain that, for example, the term handicap could be harmful since it refers to a lower validity, for this reason, many groups seek definitions of this disability with positive connotations, such as «different capacity » instead of «disability».

Analysis of mental deficiency

To understand the concept of mental deficiency, it is necessary to understand in advance that of intelligence, which refers to that unique faculty of the person to resolve conflicts and interact with the environment. It is important to note that there are three ways to define this disease, according to the following criteria:

* Psychometric : a person is considered to be mentally deficient if they show poor performance in their intellectual abilities. Those who focused on the development of deficiency according to this perspective were Binet and Simon.

* Sociological : that individual who presents difficulties in adapting to his environment and leading an autonomous life, has a mental deficiency. The most important authors in this definition were Doll, Kanner and Tredgold.

* Biological : This disease is caused by a biological, physiological or anatomical predisposition that comes to light during the stage of development.

Other lines to define mental deficiency are the one imposed by the behavioral criterion (to interpret the deficiency it is necessary to take into account environmental and biological criteria and the interaction between both) and the pedagogical one (mainly the ordinary learning process should be considered in the study because the mental deficit is manifested in a difficulty to carry out learning correctly.

Different degrees of understanding

Mental deficiency is divided into five levels according to the degree of understanding that people have, according to IQ measurements, these are:

* Limit or borderline : People with an IQ of 68-85. They show complications in learning, but have access to develop a very normal life.

* Mild mental deficiency : Individuals who have an IQ of 52-68 and manifest problems in motor and perceptual aspects, however they can develop good social and communication skills, integrating themselves in the labor and social field that they propose.

* Moderate or medium : Their IQ is 36-51, which allows them to develop habits of autonomy, communicate orally, although with difficulty understanding social conventions.

* Severe : People with an IQ that is between 20-35, and that does not allow them to have great autonomy: very poor oral language, motor skills and social skills.

* Profound mental deficiency : They have an IQ of less than 20 and show severe wear and tear in motor skills and communication with their environment. They are almost completely dependent on others for everything and are rarely able to respond to rehabilitation treatment.

The causes of these disorders can be genetic conditioning (the root is dictated in the genes before the individual’s conception), or by extrinsic factors : perinatal (before birth), neonatal (complications in childbirth), postnatal (complications after of birth) Finally, it is necessary to clarify that the social integration of people who suffer from some type of disability is essential in order to lavish them with a happier life through comprehensive development. For this it is necessary to plan special educational tools adapted to the needs of these people.