Intellectual disability (ID)
What is Intellectual Disability?
- Intellectual disability (ID) is a diagnosis given when an individual has problems both in intellectual functioning (i.e., ability to learn, reason, make decisions, and solve problems) and adaptive functioning (i.e., the ability to function in everyday activities).
Typically diagnosed before the age of 18, an individual with ID may have problems speaking, reading, eating, taking care of themselves, or interacting appropriately with others. People with ID can and do learn new skills, but they learn them more slowly.
Severity of ID
- ID has different severity levels based on adaptive functioning in the conceptual, social, and practical domains.
- Conceptual: language, reading, writing, math, reasoning, knowledge, memory
- Social: empathy, social judgment, communication skills, the ability to follow the rules and the ability to make and keep friendships
- Practical: independence in areas such as personal care, job responsibilities, managing money, recreation and organizing school and work tasks
|Conceptual Domain||Social Domain||Practical Domain|
However, an extended period of teaching and time is needed for the individual to become independent in these areas, and reminders may be needed.
Causes of ID
- Genetic conditions
- Problems during pregnancy or childbirth
- Illness, injury or infection during development
Treatment for ID
- Persons with intellectual disabilities can benefit from therapy and early intervention. Treatment includes the judicious use of medicines, behavioural therapy, and occupational therapy. The treatment plans usually investigate addressing sensory issues, improving communication skills, advising on environmental manipulation, changing maladaptive behaviour, and optimizing functional capabilities.
Those who require child or adult care services may consider inclusive preschools, special student care centres, or centre-based, residential, and home care services. Children with intellectual disabilities can also enrol in either SPED schools or mainstream schools, depending on their individual needs.
Adults with intellectual disabilities can participate in programmes to prepare them for working life. There are training and skills-upgrading programmes to help those with disabilities secure jobs.
What can I do to help my intellectually disabled child?
- Learn everything you can about intellectual disabilities
- Encourage your child’s independence
- Let your child try new things and provide guidance when needed and give positive feedback when he/she does something well or master something new.
- Get your child involved in group activities
- Improves interpersonal skills
- Stay involved
- Keeping in touch with your child’s teachers, note progress and reinforce what is learnt in school at home.
We are here for you
No matter the situation you're in, we are here to help you get through the difficult times. Schedule an appointment with us here.
Reach out to us at: