Intellectual Disabilities: A Quick Overview
- Referring to the 5th Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), intellectual disability is a neurodevelopmental disorder that commonly begins in childhood.
- ID impairs a child’s capacity to learn at a regular pace and influences their day-to-day performance.
- Children with intellectual disabilities require extra work to care for themselves, and they also have difficulty communicating their wants and requirements to others.
- The intelligence quotient, generally known as IQ, is a measure of a person’s intellectual aptitude that is determined by an IQ test.
- The average IQ is 100, with the bulk of people scoring in the 85-115 range. A low IQ of less than 70 and difficulty adapting to everyday life determine intellectual disability.
- Intellectual disabilities are often associated with social and physical challenges.
- Children with intellectual impairments develop at a slightly slower pace than their peers of the same age, since ID is a developmental condition.
- Severe cases of intellectual disabilities are typically detected immediately after a baby is born. Mild-to-moderate cases are troublesome to diagnose unless they cannot meet developmental milestones.
- Specialists observe adaptive behaviors in children with intellectual disabilities and compare them to those of other children who do not have this condition to rule out the exact issue.
- These behaviors include how a child with ID eats and dresses, how they communicate with their peers and family members, and how they comprehend others.
- Intellectual disabilities affect 1% of the population, with mild intellectual disability accounting for 85% of instances.
- Mild intellectual disability refers to youngsters who are slightly slower at learning new abilities than their peers.
- Almost all cases of intellectual disabilities are detected by the time a kid reaches the age of 18.
Most youngsters will be able to live freely as adults with the appropriate assistance.
Identifying Intellectual Disabilities
As per the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), people with intellectual disabilities (ID) should meet the accompanying three models for legitimate determination.
- Intellectual dysfunction includes difficulty with reasoning, critical thinking, and learning because of having an IQ below 70 or between 70 and 75.
- Adaptive dysfunction severely limits a person’s capacity to communicate, socialize, and fulfill social responsibilities.
- These impairments should show themselves before the age of 18.
What Causes Intellectual Disabilities
Any issue that interferes with neurodevelopmental will eventually result in intellectual disabilities. However, there is no one-size-fits-all cause for ID, and pinpointing the particular cause might be challenging at times.
As a result, we’ve created a list of potential causes:
- Some genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome, play a role in the development of intellectual disability.
- Drug abuse, preeclampsia, and malnutrition can all contribute to brain abnormalities during pregnancy.
- Intellectual disabilities can also occur if a kid is born prematurely or without enough oxygen during delivery.
- Brain damage, measles, meningitis, and toxic substance exposure are just a few of the diseases and conditions that can cause significant intellectual deficits.
Types of Intellectual Disabilities
According to the severity of the intellectual disability, DSM 5 divides them into a few categories. This classification is also suitable for diagnosing a specific type of disorder and developing a treatment strategy. They categorize different forms of intellectual disabilities based on basic skills rather than on an individual’s IQ.
Mild Intellectual Disabilities
- The IQ values of people with minor intellectual disabilities range from 50 to 69.
- Learning to talk takes longer, but once they can, they can communicate effectively.
- When they get older, they don’t need help caring for themselves.
- Reading and writing are challenging for people with this intellectual disability, but they can manage their everyday chores with minimum assistance.
Moderate Intellectual Disabilities
- Because they are slow at grasping languages, people with moderate intellectual disabilities find it troublesome to live alone.
- The majority of their time is spent traveling about their family communities and learning fundamental skills.
- They need some assistance in taking care of themselves.
- The IQ of people with moderate intellectual disability ranges from 35 to 49, and they are usually socially active.
Severe Intellectual Disabilities
- Severe intellectual disabilities manifest as a delayed developmental issue in children.
- They can understand speech, but their communication skills are restricted.
- Even though they have the skills to do daily chores, they nonetheless require supervision in social situations.
- The IQ values of children with this condition range from 20 to 34.
Profound Intellectual Disabilities
- Individuals with this sort of intellectual disability typically have inadequate communication skills and require supervision and assistance with self-care.
- They can’t live independently because they rely on others.
- The average IQ score was below 20.
When compared to mild and moderate intellectual disabilities, severe and profound intellectual disabilities are more likely to be associated with additional cognitive problems.
Intellectual Disabilities Symptoms
The signs of intellectual disability can differ from child to child. Most indications arise during childhood, however, others appear once the child enters school. The severity of the intellectual disabilities is frequently reflected in the symptoms.
The following are some of the most common ID symptoms:
- Fail to achieve basic developmental objectives
- Learn to walk, creep, or sit at a slower pace than other children
- Find it tough to communicate with others
- Having a hard time learning to speak
- Having trouble remembering things
- Basic skills like feeding and dressing are troublesome to master
- Unable to link acts to their outcomes
- Problem-solving and other analytical skills are lacking
- Dealing with behavioral issues like fits of rage
Physical characteristics may also be present in particular people with intellectual disabilities. Short stature or facial abnormalities are examples of these.
Treatment for Intellectual Disabilities
During an examination, specialists will interview your child, provide standard tests, and observe their actions to determine their behavior and IQ levels.
Intellectual disabilities are neurodevelopmental disorders that last a lifetime. Early detection and appropriate therapies, on the other hand, can help an individual live a quiet life by increasing their functioning. Your child will certainly need regular counseling sessions in order to overcome his or her impairment.
Specialists will recommend a family therapy strategy to meet the requirements of children. During these sessions, families will play a key part in boosting their children’s developmental abilities. Special education programs are designed to meet the unique needs of children with intellectual disabilities once they start school.
Furthermore, family, colleagues, collaborators, local area individuals, school, a medical care group, or a service framework can give help. One kind of help that a service framework can give is work training. People with intellectual disabilities can play meaningful and effective roles in society if they are given the right support.
Other cognitive illnesses, such as depression and anxiety disorder, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and ADHD, are frequently associated with intellectual disabilities. It’s difficult to diagnose such underlying illnesses, but family caregivers are critical in recognizing any changes in their children’s behavior because early detection can prevent the condition from worsening over time.
When your child reaches adulthood, they may be able to perform a job that complements their intellectual impairment, live independently, and support themselves. Support services, on the other hand, are available to assist people with intellectual disabilities.