What is "Intellectual Disability"?

Intellectual Disability is a significant limitation in a person's mental capacity. This can be documented with a low scoring IQ test. The individual may not be able to solve problems, adapt to new situations or learn new information or behaviors. Because the person's mental capacity is diminished, their ability to appropriately interact in social settings and their ability to manage their daily lives may be limited as well. If you are unfamiliar with the intellectual disability, you may be more familiar with the term "mentally retarded."

An intellectual disability can be a result of a genetic condition such as Down's Syndrome. It can be the result of a fetus not developing properly during pregnancy. This can be the result of a number of reasons such as a pregnant woman suffering an infection or abusing drugs. A health problem such as malnutrition can result in intellectual disability. Intellectual disabilities usually occur before the person becomes an adult. In my experience, most are present when the individual is born.

Having an intellectual disability can impact a person's life to varying degrees. There is no one severity for it. It is a spectrum. A person can be profoundly disabled and unable to tend to their most basic needs, functioning at much the same level as an infant. Alternately, a person could be mildly impacted and be able to live fairly independently. Everything in between is also possible.

Additional Information Sources:
American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
The Arc


Popular Posts