Intellectual disabilities: Essential details

Intellectual disabilities: Essential details

Portrait of beautiful young girl smiling

We live in a society where children with intellectual disability are often looked down upon as being incapable of contributing to the overall fabric of our culture. All they need is love, encouragement, support and  positive reinforcement that can help ensure that these kids emerge with a strong sense of self-worth and the determination to keep going even when things are tough.

Disabilities cover a wide range. Some are obvious and some are hidden. So, it’s important to know everything about what constitutes as disability from the scratch:

What Is an Intellectual Disability?

Intellectual disability has been a taboo for many years, which is surrounded by exclusion. Intellectual disability involves a number of significant skill limitations. People with these impairments have intellectual limitations.There are many signs through which an intellectual disability can be identified:

  • Children with disabilities often find it hard to remember things
  • have trouble understanding social rules,
  • have trouble solving problems,
  • sit up, crawl, or walk later than other children;
  • have trouble understanding the consequences of their actions

How an Intellectual Disability is diagnosed?

Intellectual disability is identified by problems in both intellectual and adaptive functioning. To diagnose an intellectual disability, professionals look at the person’s mental abilities (IQ), and his or her adaptive skills. A full scale IQ score of around 70 to 75 indicates a significant limitation in intellectual functioning.


Some of the most common symptoms can include:

  • Learning and developing more slowly than other children same age
  • Difficulty communicating or socializing with others
  • Lower than average scores on IQ tests
  • Difficulties talking or talking late
  • Having problems remembering things
  • Inability to connect actions with consequences
  • Trouble learning at school
  • Inability to do everyday tasks like getting dressed or using the restroom without help


The most common causes of intellectual disability are:

Genetic conditions that include Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome.
Problems during pregnancy that can interfere with fetal brain development, malnutrition, certain infections, or preeclampsia.
Complications during childbirth resulting in a baby being deprived of oxygen or born extremely premature.
Severe head injury, near-drowning, extreme malnutrition, infections in the brain, exposure to toxic substances such as lead, and severe neglect or abuse.


Following are certain procedures through which intellectual disability can be managed:

  • Changing the Surroundings
  • Positive Reinforcement
  • Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviours
  • Functional communication training
  • Stimulus Control
  • Fading programmes

While all these details will certainly help your children in the longer run, one thing they need the most from you is love.There are many organizations that cater to the development of a specially abled children. Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, a charitable school for the specially abled run by Ponty Chadha Foundation is fully committed to the rehabilitation of children with disabilities. It is one of the very few private rehabilitation institutions that don’t charge any money for services provided to its students.

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