The aim was to examine the rates and types of parent reported neuropsychiatric problems in children and adolescents with mild mental retardation (MMR) (mild intellectual disability/UK) using the Five-To-Fifteen questionnaire (FTF). The target group comprised all pupils with clinically diagnosed MMR, aged between 7 and 15 years, attending the special schools for children with MMR in two municipalities in a region in the South-West of Sweden. The FTF is a 181-item parent questionnaire with age and gender specific Swedish norms covering eight domains, including the phenomenology of early symptomatic syndromes eliciting neurodevelopmental examinations (ESSENCE), including ADHD, autism, tic syndromes, and various kinds of language, memory, and learning problems. Parents of 63% (39/62) of the eligible target group completed the FTF. After scrutiny of the medical records, 6 of the 39 children were found not to meet criteria for MR. Scores exceeding the 90th centile of the norm group were considered indicative of neuropsychiatric problems. Such high scores are strongly associated with clinically valid ESSENCE/neuropsychiatric disorders. All the examined children with validated MR were reported by their parents to have learning problems. There were very high rates of problems reported in all the other seven FTF domains: perception (88%), language (79%), social skills/autism (76%), memory (67%), emotional problems (58%), motor skills (55%) and executive functions/ADHD (55%). School age children with MMR are all in need of a comprehensive work-up covering not only general cognitive abilities, but also many other areas, including motor skills, executive function/attention, social and emotional/behavioural symptoms/functioning. Such broad assessment (including child screening by parent report with the FTF) will enable a better basis for understanding their special needs of support through life.
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