Ailment Intellectual Disability

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FAQ's For Intellectual Disability

An intellectual disability is characterized by below-average intelligence (an IQ below 75) and mental abilities, as well as a lack of skills necessary for daily life. People having intellectual disabilities often take much longer than the average person to learn and acquire new skills.

Though it is hard to pinpoint the exact causes of intellectual disabilities, 1/3rd of the time, it is determined to be a result of one or more of the following factors: Problems during pregnancy (mothers using drugs or alcohol, malnutrition, infection or preeclampsia) Problems during childbirth (prematurity or oxygen deprivation) Genetic conditions (like Down syndrome or fragile X syndrome) Illness or injury to the head (from conditions like meningitis, whooping cough or measles, severe abuse or neglect, extreme malnutrition, or exposure to toxic substances) However in most cases, cause cannot be established.

Though intellectual disabilities cannot be cured, there are several treatment options for patients to live a wonderful, fulfilling life.

The main signs and symptoms of intellectual disability in children include: Rolling over, sitting up, crawling, or walking late
Talking late or having trouble with talking
Slow to master things like dressing, potty training and feeding themselves
Difficulty remembering things
Inability to connect actions with consequences
Behavioral issues such as explosive tantrums
Difficulty with problem-solving or logical thinking

Around 85% of those having intellectual disabilities suffer from a mild form of the condition. This simply means that the patient will take a little longer than average to learn and acquire new skills. As adults, they will learn to live and grow independently with the right support.

Previously called mental retardation, an intellectual disability is characterized by below-average intelligence and mental abilities, as well as a lack of skills necessary for daily life. People having intellectual disabilities often take much longer than the average person to learn and acquire new skills.

The definition of intellectual disability covers two main areas:
• IQ, or intellectual functioning (having an IQ below 75)
• Adaptive behaviors, or the ability to learn new skills, interact with other people and take care of one’s self.
In both of these areas, people having intellectual disabilities show retardation.

The most common types of intellectual disability include:
Fragile X syndrome
Down syndrome
Developmental delay
Prader-Willi syndrome
Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder

The main signs and symptoms of intellectual disability in children include:
Rolling over, sitting up, crawling, or walking late
Talking late or having trouble with talking
Slow to master things like dressing, potty training and feeding themselves
Difficulty remembering things
Inability to connect actions with consequences
Behavioral issues such as explosive tantrums
Difficulty with problem-solving or logical thinking

Though it is hard to pinpoint the exact causes of intellectual disabilities, 1/3rd of the time, it is determined to be a result of one or more of the following factors:
Problems during pregnancy (mothers using drugs or alcohol, malnutrition, infection or preeclampsia)
Problems during childbirth (prematurity or oxygen deprivation)
Genetic conditions (like Down syndrome or fragile X syndrome)
Illness or injury to the head (from conditions like meningitis, whooping cough or measles, severe abuse or neglect, extreme malnutrition, or exposure to toxic substances)

However, in most cases, a cause cannot be established.

An intellectual disability diagnosis can be given after a thorough examination. Doctors will use tests like urine analysis, blood tests, EEG (electroencephalogram), and imaging tests for the brain to determine the type and extent of the disability.

Treatment of an intellectual disability begins at childhood. A team of professionals come together to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the patient, after which a treatment plan and options for the future can be discussed with the parents. Early intervention will open up therapy options like speech therapy, physical therapy, family counselling, occupational therapy, and nutrition services. Special assistive devices can also be suggested. Parents can follow some of these tips:
• Learn as much as possible about the child’s specific intellectual disability.
• Get him/her involved in group activities and create shared experiences.
• Stay involved and keep in touch with teachers to monitor progress.
• Encourage independence and always give reassurance and feedback to the child.

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