Intellectual Disabilities Struggle with Learning and Communication
An injury, disease, or problem in the brain occurring before birth or after birth up to eighteen usually causes intellectual disabilities. Individuals with intellectual disabilities struggle when trying to learn new things or communicate their thoughts or needs.
Broad Spectrum of Disabilities
Just as communication and learning occur in various ways, the spectrum of intellectual disabilities is broad. If you meet one person with an intellectual disability, the chances are that his needs and challenges will not be the same as those you encounter in the next person you meet or the next. Each person is unique.
The Severity Depends on Many Factors Other Than Label
The severity of an intellectual disability (i.e., the degree of significant difficulties) depends on many factors other than the label of their diagnosis. As with many conditions, when dealing with an intellectual disability, it’s important not to make assumptions about what they can or cannot do or how best to meet their needs.
Age Acquired Influences Outcome
Future struggles and challenges are influenced by how a person acquires the disability. The earlier an injury or illness occurs, the more difficulty the child has in keeping pace with growth and development targets established for children in his age group. The same is true if a large area of the brain becomes damaged through illness or injury.
Parents should consult with their child’s pediatrician if they believe any of the following warning signs describe their child’s learning, development, or communication behaviors.
- Sitting, crawling, or walking later than other children.
- Learning to talk later or having trouble speaking
- Finding it difficult to remember things
- Struggling to understand social rules
- Having trouble seeing the results of their actions
- Trouble with problem-solving
- National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities,
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention