- Association for the Welfare of mentally Retarded (AWMR) is a voluntary national social organization established to provide comprehensive services directed towards the welfare of people with mental retardations and their families
- AWMR was founded in 1981 during the observances of the international years of Disabled Persons and was registered in 1985 under the Nepal Social Services National Coordination Council (SSNCC), now Social Welfare Council (SWC) and was registered in 1984 in District Administration Office as the government-recognized national umbrella agency in Nepal.
- Mental Retardation, translated into Nepali is “Susta Manasthiti” which means a delay in mental development compared to others of the same age in the Nepalese cultural context.
- An estimated 10% of the populations in Nepal have some from of disability of which mental retardation is one of the prominent disabilities. The general classification of mental retardation can form the category of EDUCABLE and TRAINABLE but for integration this category should not followed strictly.
- Of the estimated 7,20000 mentally retarded (1989 Survey) nearly 40% of them are under 14 years age. Many of the causes of Mental Retardation can be prevented. The most common causes in Nepal include:
- Diseases such as meningitis, rubella, malaria etc;
- Genetic birth defects;
- Iodine deficiency;
- Lead poisoning;
- Lack of environmental stimulation;
- Lack of early intervention
- Mental retardation is different from mental illness or insanity which causes disorders of behavior and emotions;
- Some people with mental retardation may also have additional handicaps such as speech defects, hearing impairment, epilepsy and movement difficulties due to conditions such as cerebral palsy;
- The consequence of mental retardation can be reduced through the stimulation provided by special education including training in self-help skills, social skills, functional literacy and innumeracy, domestic skills, pre-vocational and vocational skills. Effective stimulation, given Systematically at the earliest development stages of the child with mental retardation can prepare the child to become active, productive and independent adult;
- AWMR believe that functional skills training and basic education can best be provided to a maximum number of people with mental retardation within their own community workers, volunteers and family members;