Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The definition of Intellectual and developmental mental disabilities intellectual disability is a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills. This disability originates before the age of 18. Intellectual functioning—also called intelligence—refers to general mental capacity, such as learning, reasoning, problem solving, and so on. One criterion to measure intellectual functioning is an IQ test. Generally, an IQ test score of around 70 or as high as 75 indicates a limitation in intellectual functioning.

Standardized tests can also determine limitations in adaptive behavior, which comprises three skill types: * Conceptual skills—language and literacy; money, time, and number concepts; and self-direction. * Social skills—interpersonal skills, social responsibility, self-esteem, gullibility, naivete (i. e. , wariness), social problem solving, and the ability to follow rules/obey laws and to avoid being victimized. * Practical skills—activities of daily living (personal care), occupational skills, healthcare, travel/transportation, schedules/routines, safety, use of money, use of the telephone.

On the basis of such many-sided evaluations, professionals can determine whether an individual has an intellectual disability and can tailor a support plan for each individual. But in defining and assessing intellectual disability, the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) stresses that professionals must take additional factors into account, such as the community environment typical of the individual’s peers and culture. Professionals should also consider linguistic diversity and cultural differences in the way people communicate, move, and behave.

Important source – Andy Warhol and Asperger’s Syndrome

Finally, assessments must also assume that limitations in individuals often coexist with strengths, and that a person’s level of life functioning will improve if appropriate personalized supports are provided over a sustained period. Autism HealthInsite Topic Page? Links to information on autism spectrum disorders. Down Syndrome HealthInsite Topic Page ? Links to information on down syndrome. Dyslexia HealthInsite Topic Page ? Links to information about dyslexia or specific reading disability. Maladaptive Behaviours in Childhood

HealthInsite Topic Page ? Links to resources on Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Conduct Disorder and other disorders affecting children? s behaviour. Memory Disorders HealthInsite Topic Page ? Links to information about memory disorders, including memory loss and amnesia. Phenylketonuria HealthInsite Topic Page ? Links to information about phenylketonuria. Abuse and vulnerability Abuse is a significant issue for people with developmental disabilities, and as a group they are regarded as vulnerable people in most jurisdictions.

Common types of abuse include: * Physical abuse (withholding food, hitting, punching, pushing, etc. ) * Neglect (withholding help when required, e. g. , assistance with personal hygiene) * Sexual abuse * Psychological or emotional abuse (verbal abuse, shaming and belittling) * Constraint and restrictive practices (turning off an electric wheelchair so a person cannot move) * Financial abuse (charging unnecessary fees, holding onto pensions, wages, etc. ) * Legal or civil abuse (restricted access to services)

* Systemic abuse (denied access to an appropriate service due to perceived support needs) * Passive neglect (a caregiver’s failure to provide adequate food, shelter) Lack of education, lack of self-esteem and self-advocacy skills, lack of understanding of social norms and appropriate behavior and communication difficulties are strong contributing factors to the high incidence of abuse among this population. In addition to abuse from people in positions of power, peer abuse is recognized as a significant, if misunderstood, problem.

Rates of criminal offense among people with developmental disabilities are also disproportionately high, and it is widely acknowledged that criminal justice systems throughout the world are ill-equipped for the needs of people with developmental disabilities—as both perpetrators and victims of crime. [10][11][12] Intellectual Disability Intellectual disability is a below-average cognitive ability with three (3) characteristics:

* Intelligent quotient (or I. Q.) is between 70-75 or below * Significant limitations in adaptive behaviors (the ability to adapt and carry on everyday life activities such as self-care, socializing, communicating, etc. )

* The onset of the disability occurs before age 18. Intelligence refers to general mental capability and involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly, and learn from experience. Studies show that somewhere between one (1) percent and three (3) percent of Americans have intellectual disabilities.

There are many causes of intellectual disabilities, factors include physical, genetic and/or social. The most common syndromes associated with intellectual disabilities are autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Common causes occur from genetic conditions (Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome are examples), problems during pregnancy (a pregnancy of the mother who drinks alcohol while pregnant can result in FASD), problems at the time of birth, health problems such as whooping cough, measles or meningitis and exposure to environmental toxins like lead or mercury.

The impact of having an intellectual disability varies considerably, just as the range of abilities varies considerably among all people. Children may take longer to learn to speak, walk and take care of their personal needs, such as dressing or eating. It may take longer to learn in school. As adults, some people are able to lead independent lives in the community without paid supports. A small percentage will have serious, lifelong limitations in functioning. However, with early intervention, an appropriate education and supports as an adult, all can lead satisfying lives in the community.

Sometimes intellectual disability is also referred to as developmental disability which is a broader term that includes ASD (autism spectrum disorders), epilepsy, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, fetal alcohol syndrome (or FASD) and other disorders that occur during the developmental period (birth to age 18). The major differences are in the age of onset, the severity of limitations, and the fact that a person with a developmental disability definition may or may not have a low I.

Q. While some people with intellectual disability will also meet the definition of developmental disability, it is estimated that at least half do not meet the requirements for the developmental disability definition. Within an individual, limitations often coexist with strengths. With appropriate personalized supports over a sustained period, the life functioning of the person with intellectual disability generally will improve (AAMR, 2002).

Fragile X syndrome (FXS), Martin–Bell syndrome, or Escalante’s syndrome (more commonly used in South American countries), is a genetic syndrome that is the most common known single-gene cause of autism and the most common inherited cause of mental retardation among boys. It results in a spectrum of intellectual disabilities ranging from mild to severe as well as physical characteristics such as an elongated face, large or protruding ears, and large testes (macroorchidism), and behavioral characteristics such as stereotypic movements (e. g. hand-flapping), and social anxiety.

1. What are developmental disabilities (DD)? 757 – 758 Any lost, absent, or impaired physical or mental function occurring before 22 years of age. 2. List the possible causes of DD. 757; Box 47-1, Causes of Intellectual Disabilities Abnormal genes …

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