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Borderline mental retardation or borderline intelligence is the mildest level of mental retardation and is usualy diagnosed where there are patterns of persistently slow learning of basic motor and language skills ("milestones") during childhood, and a significantly below-normal global intellectual capacity as an adult and where there is an intelligence quotient (IQ) of between 70-79 .
The term reflects the attempt to identify the level of intellecual capacity at which people could function independently and at which point outside help would be necessary. So they term borderline denotes that people in this group are on the cusp of this division.
It should be remembered that the diagnosis is not based only on IQ scores, but must also take into consideration the person's adaptive functioning, the diagnosis is not made rigidly. It encompasses intellectual scores, adaptive functioning scores from an adaptive behavior rating scale based on descriptions of known abilities provided by someone familiar with the person, and also the observations of the assessment examiner who is able to find out directly from the person what he or she can understand, communicate, and the like
- Main article: Epidemiology of borderline mental retardation