Intellectual Disability & Ability

What is Intellectual Ability and Intellectual Disability?

Intellectual Ability refers to a child’s capacity to carry out different tasks. An intellectual ability test is usually required for all diagnosis and academic/education planning.

A person diagnosed with an Intellectual Disability learns more slowly than other individuals of the same age.

Intellectually disabled individuals also typically face difficulty learning skills that are needed to live and work in the community on a daily basis such as communication, self-care, social and personal safety needs.  These challenges faced by the intellectually disabled are due to their limited reasoning skills (thought-related processing).

Intellectual disability is commonly associated with children suffering from Down syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, amongst others.

Causes of Intellectual Disability

Common causes of Intellectual Disability include:

  • Genetics
  • Pre-natal problems and complications during child birth
  • Disease and exposure to certain toxins
  • Iodine deficiency
  • Malnutrition

Symptoms of Intellectual Disability

All individuals have different areas of ability and difficulty.  Generally a person with an intellectual disability:

  • Learns and processes information more slowly than peers of same age
  • Has difficulties reasoning (working things out) and remembering
  • Has difficulties with attention and organising information
  • Has trouble seeing how things or events relate to each other. For example, they may find it difficult to understand that forks, knives and spoons all belong to a bigger category called cutlery
  • Has difficulty with abstract concepts, such as money and time management
  • Has difficulty understanding the subtleties of interpersonal interactions.
  • IQ less than 70

Treatment for Intellectual Disability

In order to learn effectively, children with an intellectual disability need structure and support.
At Think Psychological Services, our psychologists are able to guide and support children with an intellectual disability.  We are able to help introduce self-help and life skills for the child to help them improve their quality of life.

Their learning may need more guidance, take more time and require more structure.  With that in place, the intellectually disabled can learn and develop physically, mentally, socially and emotionally throughout life.

In addition, we often also incorporate training to parent/caregivers so that they can manage their intellectually disabled child more effectively.

Intellectual Disability & Ability