What is intellectual disability


Intellectual disability is characterized by significant deficits in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior observed in every day practical skills before the age of 18 (AAMD, 2010). People with intellectual disabilities have difficulties in conceptualizing, writing and reading, in the perception of time and space or/and understanding numbers. Furthermore, difficulties may affect social skills such as communication and interpersonal relationships. All this leads to low self-confidence. However, the main cause of the low self-esteem of people with mental disabilities is social stigmatization.

The nature of intellectual disability is highly heterogeneous in etiology, type and population characteristics. Intellectual disability is associated with an IQ of 70 or below that can be measured with standardized tests, ranged from mild, moderate, severe and heavy.

People with intellectual disabilities need additional support in order to understand complex concepts and improve their social skills. The scope and duration of support vary. For example, someone with a mild intellectual disability may need support in finding a job whereas someone with a severe intellectual disability may need daily support in various aspects of everyday life. The important thing/what is of importance is that with proper support a person with an intellectual disability can live independently.