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.
The condition originates during the developmental period, which is defined as before the age of 22. Intellectual disability is one of several conditions known collectively as developmental disabilities.
AAIDD stresses that additional factors must be taken into account when assessing intellectual disability, such as the community environment typical of the individual’s peers and culture.
Professionals should also consider linguistic diversity and cultural differences in the way people communicate, move, and behave.Finally, assessments must also assume that limitations often coexist with strengths in a person, and that an individual's level of life functioning will improve if appropriate, personalized supports are provided over a sustained period.Only after a comprehensive evaluations can a clinician determine whether an person has intellectual disability and can professionals tailor effective individualized support plans.
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