Retardation Mental retardation is a term used when a person has certain limitations in mental functioning and in skills such as communicating, taking care of him or herself, and social skills. In Children: These limitations will cause a child to learn and develop more slowly than a typical child does . Children with mental retardation may take longer to learn to speak, walk and take care of their personal needs, such as dressing or eating. They are likely to have trouble learning in school. They will learn, but it will take them longer. There may be some things they cannot learn. Copyright Notice Adapted from Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0 ; additional terms may apply.