If your child has an intellectual disability (ID), her brain is not developing properly or is injured in some way. Your brain may not even function within the normal range of intellectual and adaptive functioning. In the past, medical professionals have referred to this condition as “mental retardation.”
Intellectual disability is when a person has certain limitations in cognitive function and skills, including communication, social, and self-defense skills used. These limitations generally cause children to develop and learn more slowly or differently than developing children. Intellectual disability occurs before the child’s 18th birthday and before birth. Intellectual disability is the most common developmental disability.
There are four levels of identification:
Sometimes identification can be classified as:
- “Not specified”
ID has a low IQ and problems adjusting to daily life. There may also be learning, speech, social, and physical disabilities.
Severe cases of DI can be diagnosed immediately after birth. However, you may not realize you have a short identification form until your child reaches normal developmental goals. Almost all cases of DI are diagnosed when a child turns 18.
How common are intellectual disabilities?
Approximately 6.5 million people in the United States have a mental disability. About 1 to 3 percent of the world’s population has a mental disability – 200 million people.
Intellectual disability is very common in low-income countries: $ 16.41 per 1,000 people. General disabilities are more common in low-income countries.
The United Nations Development Program estimates that 80 percent of people with disabilities live in low-income countries. While people with disabilities make up one in 10 people worldwide, they make up one in five people in the world.
Symptoms of intellectual disability
Symptoms of DI vary depending on your child’s level of disability and can include:
- Failure to meet intellectual milestones.
- Sit, crawl, or walk more than other children
- Trouble learning to speak or speak clearly.
- Memory problems
- Inability to understand the consequences of actions.
- Inability to think logically
- The child’s behavior varies with the child’s age
- Lack of curiosity
- Learning difficulties
- IQ less than 70
Inability to live a completely independent life due to challenges such as communicating, taking care of yourself, or communicating with others.
If your child has an ID, she may experience some of the following behavior problems:
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Attention seeking behavior
- Depression in adolescence and adolescence
- Lack of control of motivation
- Tendency to self-harm
- Low self-esteem
- Less tolerance for frustration
- Mental disorders
- Difficulty paying attention
Some people with DI may also have specific physical symptoms. These include mild dyspnea or facial abnormalities.
Levels of intellectual disability
Identification is divided into four levels based on your child’s IQ and level of social adjustment.
Mild intellectual disability
Some symptoms of mild intellectual disability include:
It takes a long time to learn to speak, but they communicate well how they learn.
- Be completely independent in personal care as they age.
- Trouble reading and writing
- Social immaturity
- Increased difficulty with marriage or parental responsibilities
- Benefit from special education plans
- IQ ranges from 50 to 69
- Moderate intellectual disability
If your child has moderate identification, she may have some of the following symptoms:
- They are slow to understand and use language
- There may be some communication difficulties.
- Learn basic reading, writing, and counting skills.
- I can’t live alone in general
- You can often go to familiar places on your own.
- Participate in a variety of social activities.
- IQ ranges from 35 to 49
- Severe intellectual disability
Serious ID Features:
- Significant motor disability
- Severe damage or abnormal development of your central nervous system
- The IQ range is usually 20 to 34
- Profound intellectual disability
Deep ID Features:
- Inability to understand or comply with requests or instructions
- Very basic non-verbal communication
- Not being able to take care of your own needs independently
- Requires constant help and supervision
- Has an IQ of less than 20
People in this category are often physically weak, hard of hearing, speechless, or physically handicapped. These factors can prevent your pediatrician from performing screening tests.
Unspecified intellectual disability
If your child has unspecified identification, she may show identifying symptoms, but her doctor may not have enough information to determine her level of disability.
What are the most common causes?
The most common causes of intellectual disability are:
Genetic conditions Sometimes intellectual disability is caused by abnormal genes inherited from parents, genetic defects, or other causes. Examples of Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and phenylketonuria (PKU) genetic conditions.
- Problems during pregnancy. Intellectual impairment occurs when the baby does not develop properly within the mother. For example, there may be a problem with the way the baby’s cells divide. A woman who consumes alcohol during pregnancy or becomes infected with rubella can also have a child with an intellectual disability.
- Problems at birth. If the baby has problems during labor and delivery, such as not getting enough oxygen, she may have an intellectual disability.
- Exposure to diseases or toxins. Diseases such as a ring cough, measles, or meningitis can cause intellectual disability. They can also be caused by severe malnutrition, lack of proper medical care, or exposure to toxins such as lead or mercury.
We know that intellectual disability is not contagious – you cannot inherit an intellectual disability from someone else. We know that this is not a mental illness like depression. There are no treatments for intellectual disability. However, children with intellectual disabilities can learn many things. They need more time or learn differently than other children.
How does intellectual disability happen?
Intellectual disability, formerly known as mental retardation, can be caused by injury, disease, or a problem in the brain. For most children, the cause of their intellectual disability is unknown.
Some causes of intellectual disability (Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, birth defects, and infections) can occur before birth. Some occur when a baby is born or immediately after birth.
Other causes of intellectual disability do not occur until the child is old enough; These can include serious head injuries, infections, or strokes.
How is intellectual disability diagnosed?
For the identification diagnosis, your child must have below-average intellectual and positive abilities. Your pediatrician will evaluate three components:
- Interviews with you
- Your child’s observations
- Standard tests
Your children will take standard intelligence tests, such as the Stanford-Binet IQ Test. This will help the doctor determine your child’s IQ.
The doctor may also perform other tests, such as the Wineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. This test provides an assessment of your child’s daily living skills and social skills, compared to other children the same age.
It is important to remember that children of different cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds may work differently on these tests. To make a diagnosis, your pediatrician will review test results, interviews with you, and your child’s observations.
Your child’s evaluation process may include expert visits, which may include:
- Speech pathologist
- Social worker
- Pediatric neurologist
- Developmental pediatrician
Laboratory and imaging tests may also be done. These can help your pediatrician diagnose metabolic and genetic defects, as well as structural problems in your child’s brain.
Other conditions such as hearing loss, learning disabilities, neurological disorders, and psychological problems can also delay development. Your pediatrician must rule out these conditions before confirming your child’s identification.
You, your child’s school, and your doctor will use the results of these tests and evaluations to develop a treatment and education plan for your child.
Treatment options for intellectual disability
Your child needs ongoing counseling to help him cope with his disability.
You get a family service plan that describes your child’s needs. The plan also describes the services that should help your child develop normally. The needs of your family will also be addressed in the plan.
When your child is ready to attend school, a personalized education program (IEP) will be implemented to help her with her educational needs. All children with ID will benefit from special education.
According to the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), public schools must provide a free and appropriate education for children with identification and other developmental disabilities.
The main goal of treatment is to help your child reach her full potential in terms of:
- Social skills
- Life skills
Treatment may include:
- Behavior therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Medications, in some cases
Can intellectual disability be prevented?
Some causes can be avoided. The most common of these is fetal alcohol syndrome. Pregnant women should not drink alcohol. Getting proper prenatal care, taking prenatal vitamins, and getting vaccinated against certain infectious diseases can also reduce the risk of your baby being born with an intellectual disability.
In families with a history of genetic disorders, genetic testing may be recommended before pregnancy.
Some tests, such as ultrasound and amniocentesis, can also be done during pregnancy to detect problems associated with intellectual disability. Although these tests find problems before birth, they do not correct them.