Individuals with intellectual disability, previously known as mental retardation or called developmental delay, characteristically have below-average intelligence and a lack of skills required to function in daily life. Intellectual disability, which is commonly identified and diagnosed in children before 18 tears of age, can also be detected during pregnancy. Behavioural Therapy from a qualified counsellor can be extremely valuable for individuals with intellectual disability.
Intellectual disability symptoms
Intellectual disability has been defined, by British Psychological Society, as a significant impairment of
intelligence and of motor functioning that occurs before adulthood. Intellectual, or learning, disabilities are common, lifelong conditions, rather than a disease or illness. They can be distinguished from learning difficulties, such as dyslexia. Intellectual disability can be identified by symptoms such as slow development of motor or language skills (walking and talking), behavioural issues, poor academic performance at school, a low level of curiosity, issues with following rules as well as connecting actions with consequences. Individuals with intellectual disabilities often suffer from difficulties with caring for themselves and have issues with organisational themselves. Down’s syndrome, can be identified at birth, however many people intellectual disabilities have no visible symptoms as so assessment is important.
People with intellectual disabilities may also suffer epilepsy which can have a significant negative impact on their health, well‐being, and quality of life. individuals presenting intellectual disabilities with coexisting autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may suffer from other issues including epilepsy.
Intellectual disability and special schools and mainstream schools
For children an assessment of their intellectual/learning disabilities is needed before decisions about schooling can be made. Assessments may look at many factors but the severity of the child’s communication difficulties may be key to decisions parents have to make about schooling. Parents need to decide whether their child would be better attending a special school or a mainstream school with special support.