Intellectual disability is a condition characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior that originates before the age of 22.
Intellectual functioning—also called intelligence—refers to general mental capacity, such as learning, reasoning, problem solving, and so on.
One way to measure intellectual functioning is an IQ test. Generally, an IQ test score of around 70 or as high as 75 indicates a significant limitation in intellectual functioning.
Adaptive behavior is the collection of conceptual, social, and practical skills that are learned and performed by people in their everyday lives.
- Conceptual skills—language and literacy; money, time, and number concepts; and self-direction.
Social skills—interpersonal skills, social responsibility, self-esteem, gullibility, naïveté (i.e., wariness), social problem solving, and the ability to follow rules/obey laws and to avoid being victimized.
- Practical skills—activities of daily living (personal care), occupational skills, healthcare, travel/transportation, schedules/routines, safety, use of money, use of the telephone.
- Standardized tests can also determine limitations in adaptive behavior.
For more information on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities please visit the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
For a more in depth look at Intellectual Disabilities please go to the National Library of Medicine
For more information on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome please visit the Journal of Intellectual Disabilities
For the latest research and findings about Intellectual Disabilities go to Syracuse University News - Health & Society and the Disability and Health Journal from the American Association on Health & Disability