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Perspectives of intellectual disability in Mexico: epidemiology, policy, and services for children and adults

Katz, Gregorioa; Márquez-Caraveo, Maria Eb; Lazcano-Ponce, Eduardoc

Current Opinion in Psychiatry:
doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e32833ad9b5
Mental retardation and developmental disorders: Edited by Nick Bouras

Purpose of review: Intellectual disability is a public health issue, which has largely been overlooked in Mexico. The magnitude of this problem is unknown; few programs exist for adults and mental health professionals focus mainly on identifying treatable comorbidities.

Recent findings: In Mexico, there is an example of a best practice in social integration. This program has benefited hundreds of adults with intellectual disability by teaching four basic abilities: practical academic skills; vocational skills; independent living skills; and skills for community integration.

Summary: In a sociocultural and economic context such as Mexico's, social integration programs are feasible and necessary in order to provide an organized social response to the health, social, and vocational needs of people with intellectual disability and should become part of public policy.

Author Information

aUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de México

bHospital Psiquiátrico Infantil ‘Dr Juan N. Navarro’, Ciudad de México

cInstituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México

Correspondence to Dr Eduardo Lazcano-Ponce, Director del Centro de Investigación en Salud Poblacional, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Avenida Universidad 655, Colonia Sta. Ma. Ahuacatitlán. Cuernavaca, Morelos 62100, Mexico Tel: +52 777 3 29 30 03; fax: +52 777 3 11 11 48; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.