Intellectual Disability


It is a fact that every child learns and develops at different speeds and in various ways. However, there are also children who will learn at a much slower pace than other children of the same age. The reason being an intellectual disability which can be linked with some genetic or inherited conditions such as Fragile X syndrome, Prader Willi syndrome, autism and Down syndrome. Some other causes may also be due to a head injury or illness, but for few others, the causes are not found at all.

Each person with intellectual disability can develop and learn because there are already a lot of services available to help and assist people with this disability and their families.  There are some general terms used for intellectual disability, which are as follows:

Developmental Delay is a phrase used for a child who is developing more slowly than other children of the same age in one or more areas of development.

Global Development Delay is a term used when a child is developing more slowly than same age children in all areas of development.

Areas of development is used by professionals when referring to talk about different types of learning.  The major areas of development include movement which is gross and fine motor movement, communication which is talking and listening, self care, feeding, thinking, social, emotional, and sensory development.

Sensory Development is the development of the various senses of smell, vision, hearing, touch, taste, as well as movement awareness.  An instance on this, is when children get older, they come to comprehend that all food does not taste the same, lemons are sour, candies are sweet, and through time they combine information given by their senses to get a better idea of what is happening around them.

Sensory Integration defines a child’s capacity to organize and react to information received through the senses such as smell, touch, hearing, vision, and movement.  Children need to be able to sort out and respond to sensory information before they can develop more intricate thinking skills and behaviors.

Delayed Intellectual development refers to slow learning in a child usually below the age of five, and is an often used term of professionals if they are not sure is the slowness is permanent or temporary.

Intellectual disability is when a child learns more slowly compared to other children of the same age, and has a difficulty in learning a range of skills needed to live and work in the society.  These skills include self-care, communication, social, and personal safety.  Individuals with intellectual disability will also have limitations in thinking skills including the ability to reason out and remember.  They will also have trouble with attention and organizing information, as well as difficulty comprehending on how things are or how events relate to each other.

The early assistance on children with developmental delay will enable to make them catch up later and then continue to develop as other children of the same age, as not all development delays result to intellectual disability.