An intellectual disability (ID) is a condition in which one's cognitive abilities are impaired. Intellectual disabilities, the most frequent type of developmental disability, can range from mild to severe and are marked by limits in intellectual functioning as well as adaptive behaviour such as social and practical skills.
Between 1% and 3% of the population suffers from some form of intellectual disability. If a person exhibits cognitive limits and has difficulty adapting to new situations, they may be diagnosed with an intellectual impairment.
A score of 70 to 75 on an IQ test is another major predictor of intellectual impairment. Those who are diagnosed with this illness are likely to have trouble learning in general and may take longer to develop the abilities needed to function in daily life.
Even while some persons with intellectual impairments are unable to master some life skills, those who have been identified with an intellectual disability are typically able to attend school, obtain an education, and learn how to care for their own needs. Although general learning takes longer and requires more repetition, many people can learn the life skills they need to live independently, such as how to find and keep a job.
How to diagnose?
A doctor will conduct many tests to examine the person's intellectual and adaptive functioning in order to diagnose intellectual disability.
These tests may involve the following:
- interviews with the individual and others who have witnessed their adaptive functioning — that is, their conceptual, social, and practical functioning — such as family members or teachers
- an IQ test (a score of 70–75 may indicate intellectual disability)
- whether or whether a person has the required abilities to live independently - general medical examinations
- neurological examinations
- psychological evaluations
- exams for special education
- examinations of hearing, speech, and vision
- assessments by physical therapists
Before the age of 18, intellectual impairment usually manifests itself and causes apparent symptoms.
We have also created a detailed information guide on learning disabilities that you can check out on our website as Intellectual disability information guide.
Treatment and management
Intellectual impairment is a condition that lasts a lifetime. Despite the fact that there is no cure at this moment, most people can learn to enhance their functioning with time. Early and consistent interventions can typically improve functionality, allowing a person to thrive.
The majority of intellectual impairment treatment strategies concentrate on the person's:
- aid required to perform
- additional factors
There are numerous resources available to assist people with intellectual disabilities and their families in obtaining the assistance they require. The majority of these services enable people with intellectual disabilities to participate fully in society.
A person's diagnosis usually determines the services and rights protections they are qualified for under federal or national legislation, such as special education or home or community services. It can also assist in determining the supportive services they may require.
The following are examples of supportive services:
- Early intervention programmes aimed at detecting intellectual disabilities in newborns and toddlers.
- Special education and academic assistance, such as individual education plans, are provided free of charge to all children with intellectual disabilities in the United States under federal law.
- services to assist people with intellectual disabilities in making the transition from high school to adulthood
- programmes for the day
- occupational training programmes, such as career counselling or skill acquisition
- dwelling alternatives
- Case managers to assist in the coordination of services and to ensure that the individual is properly cared for.
- mental or psychological services
- services in speech and language pathology or audiology
- therapeutic recreation
- counselling for rehabilitation
- assistive technology or adapted equipment
People with intellectual disabilities can benefit from additional assistance from family members, caregivers, friends, coworkers, and community members.
Most people with intellectual disabilities are capable of obtaining successful, production jobs in their communities with the right help and treatment.
However, how well a person copes and functions with an intellectual disability is determined by the severity of their disease as well as any other underlying genetic or medical disorders.
Tips for parents
Parents and caregivers should speak with their kid's doctor or nurse as soon as possible if they suspect their child has an intellectual handicap. It is critical to have early and ongoing assistance in order for someone with this illness to attain their full potential.
If the doctor feels that the child has an intellectual handicap, they should see a paediatrician who specialises in identifying developmental disorders.
Other suggestions for parents and caregivers include:
- Discover the specifics of the child's intellectual handicap, such as their limitations, strengths, requirements, and other unique characteristics.
- Make friends with other parents who have children with special needs.
- Encourage independent and responsible tasks such as chores, clothing, eating, and bathing.
- Seek assistance from the community, medical, or other resources.
- Practice patience, kindness, optimism, and understanding.
- Participate in social, recreational, athletic, or other activities.
- Negative thoughts, projections, and statements should be avoided.
- Collaborate with early intervention programmes to create an Individualized Family Services Plan that is tailored to the needs of the child and family.
- To obtain special education and related services, contact local school districts or elementary schools.
- Develop your social and communication abilities.
- Recognize that parents and caregivers can assist someone with an intellectual handicap in improving their functioning.
- Use demonstrations such as a picture or hands-on materials instead of spoken directions to be as clear as possible.
- Break down more difficult or new activities into smaller steps.
- Assess the child's progress at school and at home in collaboration with teachers and academic support staff.
- Collaborate with adolescent or child psychiatrists to establish realistic goals for the individual.
Daffodil Health is creating an ecosystem to help families and parents of kids with special needs. In the same endeavour, we have launched parent training events and a marketplace for learning aids, toys, and much more.
Follow the link to know about all the Upcoming Parent Training Events.
Follow this link to look at all the products that can be helpful for your child.
Hope you find all the resources useful. If you want to contribute to Daffodil Health's mission or become a part of the team, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to get you onboard and work together towards unlocking the 10% workforce potential.