Signs of Intellectual Disability

Children With Developmental Challenges 3(2+1)

Lesson 17 : Cognitive/ Intellectual Impairments / Disorders of Intelligence

Signs of Intellectual Disability

There are many signs of an intellectual disability. For example, children with an intellectual disability may:

  • sit up, crawl or walk later than other children
  • learn to talk later, or have trouble speaking
  • find it hard to remember things
  • not understand how to pay for things
  • have trouble understanding social rules
  • have trouble seeing the consequences of their actions
  • have trouble solving problems and/or
  • have trouble thinking logically

Intellectual disabilities are diagnosed by looking at two main things. These are

  • The ability of a person’s brain to learn, think, solve problems and make sense of the world (called IQ or intellectual functioning) and
  • Whether the person has the skills he or she needs to live independently (called adaptive behavior or adaptive functioning)
  • Intellectual functioning or IQ is usually measured by a test called an IQ test. The average score is 100. People scoring below 70 to 75 are thought to have an intellectual disability. To measure adaptive behavior, professionals look at what a child can do in comparison to other children of his or her age
  • Certain skills are important to adaptive behavior. These are: daily living skills, such as getting dressed, going to the bathroom, and feeding one’s self
  • Communication skills, such as understanding what is said and being able to answer
  • Social skills with peers, family members, adults and others.
Last modified: Thursday, 12 April 2012, 6:13 AM