Intellectual Disability

Intellectual disability is a disability characterized by significant limitations in intelligence and ability to implement skills needed for everyday functioning e.g. eating, brushing of teeth, social interactions etc. It usually originates before age 18.

Signs and Symptoms
Common signs and symptoms include:
• Delays in reaching or failure to achieve milestones in motor skills development (sitting, crawling, walking)
• Slowness learning to talk or continued difficulties with speech and language skills after starting to talk
• Difficulty with self-help and self-care skills (e.g., getting dressed, washing, and feeding themselves)
• Continued infant-like behavior
• Poor academic achievement
Causes
Common causes include:
• Chromosomal/genetic disorders
• Head injury/trauma
• Problems during pregnancy and at birth
• Whooping cough, measles or meningitis
• Malnutrition and iodine deficiency
Diagnosis
• Neurological screening e.g. brain imaging
• Intelligence tests e.g. Slosson Intelligence Test
Intervention
• Curriculum modification
• Use of concrete learning materials and activities