(Cognitive Disability; Developmental Disability; Mental Retardation)
Biomedical causes resulting from:
- Abnormal genes inherited from parents
- Errors when genes combine, such as Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Metabolic conditions, such as phenylketonuria (PKU), galactosemia, and congenital hypothyroidism
- Developmental brain abnormality, such as hydrocephalus and brain malformation
- Infections during pregnancy, such as:
- Behavioral issues during pregnancy, such as:
Problems at birth, such as:
- Premature delivery or low birth weight
- Baby doesn’t get enough oxygen during birth
- Baby is injured during birth
Factors during childhood, such as:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Illnesses or infections that affect the brain, including meningitis, encephalitis, chickenpox, whooping cough, and measles
- Exposure to lead, mercury, and other toxins
- Head injury or near drowning
- Social factors, such as child stimulation and adult responsiveness
- Educational deficiencies
|Head Injury in Child|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Learning and developing more slowly than other children of the same age
- Difficulty communicating or socializing with others
- Lower than average scores on IQ tests
- Trouble learning in school
- Inability to do everyday things like getting dressed or using the bathroom without help
- Difficulty hearing, seeing, walking, or talking
- Inability to think logically
- IQ 50-70
- Slower than normal in all areas
- No unusual physical signs
- Can learn practical skills
- Reading and math skills up to grades 3-6
- Can conform socially
- Can learn daily task skills
- Functions in society
- IQ 35-49
- Noticeable delays, particularly speech
- May have unusual physical signs
- Can learn simple communication
- Can learn elementary health and safety skills
- Can participate in simple activities and self-care
- Can perform supervised tasks
- Can travel alone to familiar places
- IQ 20-34
- Significant delays in some areas; may walk late
- Little or no communication skills, but some understanding of speech with some response
- Can be taught daily routines and repetitive activities
- May be trained in simple self-care
- Needs direction and supervision socially
- IQ <20
- Significant delays in all areas
- Congenital abnormalities present
- Needs close supervision
- Requires attendant care
- May respond to regular physical and social activity
- Not capable of self-care
- Intelligence—IQ tests measure a person’s ability to do things such as think abstractly, learn, and solve problems. A child may have intellectual disability if IQ test results are 70 or below.
Adaptive behavior—These are skills needed to function in everyday life, including:
- Conceptual skills like reading and writing
- Social skills like responsibility and self-esteem
- Practical skills like the ability to eat, use the bathroom, and get dressed
- Early intervention programming for infants and toddlers up to age 3
- Family counseling
- Human development training, including emotional skills and hand-eye coordination
- Special education programs
- Life skills training, such as preparing food and bathing
- Job coaching
- Social opportunities
- Housing services
- During pregnancy:
- Have your newborn screened for conditions that may produce intellectual disability.
- Have your child properly immunized.
- Schedule regular visits to the pediatrician.
- Use child safety seats and bicycle helmets.
- Remove lead-based paint from your home. Have your child tested for lead levels in the blood.
- Keep poisonous household products out of reach.
- Aspirin is not recommended for children or teens with a current or recent viral infection. This is because of the risk of Reyes syndrome, which can cause neurological problems. Ask your doctor which medications are safe for your child.
The Arc http://www.thearc.org
American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities http://www.aaidd.org
Canadian Psychological Association http://www.cpa.ca
Special Olympics Canada http://www.specialolympics.ca
Causes and prevention of intellectual disabilities. The Arc website. Available at: http://www.thearc.org/page.aspx?pid=2453. Updated March 1, 2011. Accessed November 18, 2015.
Daily D, Ardinger H, et al. Identification and evaluation of mental retardation. Am Fam Physician. 2000;61(4):1059-1067.
Facts about intellectual disability. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/pdf/parents%5Fpdfs/IntellectualDisability.pdf. Accessed November 18, 2015.
Questions and answers about persons with intellectual disabilities in the workplace. US Equal Employment Opportunities Commission website. Available at: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/intellectual%5Fdisabilities.cfm. Accessed November 18, 2015.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 11/2015 -
- Update Date: 11/18/2015 -