Intellectual Disability

Below average intelligence and set of life skills present.

Features of Intellectual Disability

  • Significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning, accompanied by…
  • Significant limitations in adaptive functioning in at least two of the following skill areas: communication, self-care, home living, social/interpersonal skills, use of community resources, self-direction, functional academic skills, work leisure, health, and safety
  • Onset during the developmental period.

No specific personality and behavioral features are uniquely associated with Intellectual Disability. Some individuals with Intellectual Disability are passive, placid, and dependent, whereas others can be aggressive and impulsive.

Personality

No specific personality and behavioral features are uniquely associated with Intellectual Disability. Some individuals with Intellectual Disability are passive, placid, and dependent, whereas others can be aggressive and impulsive. Behavioral symptoms sometimes seen in Intellectual Disability include dependency, low frustration tolerance, and poor impulse control. The course of Intellectual Disability is variable: with good environmental influences, functioning may improve; with poor environmental influences it may deteriorate.

People with Intellectual Disability are particularly vulnerable to exploitation by others, such as being physically or sexually abused or being denied rights and opportunities.

Mild Intellectual Disability

Individuals with mild Intellectual Disability often are not distinguishable from children without Intellectual Disability until a later age. There are difficulties in learning academic skills (reading, writing, math) with support needed to complete conceptual (cognitive and academic) tasks. During the adult years, these individuals usually achieve social and vocational skills adequate for minimum self-support, but may need supervision, guidance, and assistance, especially when under unusual social or economic stress. There is a somewhat concrete approach to problems and solutions when compared to age mates.

Research

Based on new research in the field of intelligence, it should be noted that intelligence or cognition is a complex system and not all parts are equally important to overall system functioning. The degree to which an impaired cognitive ability lowers the functioning of the whole system depends on the affected ability’s centrality (relative importance to overall system functioning). In some cases, a student will have deficits in only some areas of cognitive functioning, but those areas lower the functioning of the whole system, despite having some cognitive skills above this range.

In other words, a student with an Intellectual Disability does not always have sub-average intellectual functioning in all areas of cognitive functioning.

Resources

We understand that being diagnosed with Intellectual Disability then means needing a community and a network of resources. We partner with many renowned agencies and individuals across the state.

Contact us