Change of Terms Defining Intellectual Disability and Its Levels in Lithuania and Change-determining Factors

  • Dalia Gedzevičienė
Keywords: disorder of intellect, intellectual disability, mental retardation, feeble-mindedness, synonym, connotation, International Classification of Diseases


    This article presents the Lithuanian terminology used to name intellectual disability and its levels in the 20th century and early 21st century, and reviews the terms denoting the same disorder and its levels in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). It explains what factors led to the change of the terminology in this field and what causes determined the emergence of at least four terms, which are currently synonymously used in official Lithuanian documents, public and scientific discourses and in practice to name intellectual disability: intelekto sutrikimas (disorder of intellect), intelekto negalia (intellectual disability), protinis atsilikimas (mental retardation), and silpnaprotystė (feeble-mindedness). Moreover, the article examines the possible impact of each of these terms on societal attitudes toward the group of individuals with this disorder.

Terminology and the Present