WHAT IS AN INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY?

Intellectual disability (or ID) is a term used when a person has certain limitations in cognitive functioning and skills, including communication, social and self-care skills. These limitations can cause a child to develop and learn more slowly or differently than a typically developing child. Intellectual disability can happen any time before a child turns 18 years old, even before birth.

HOW DOES AN INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY HAPPEN?

Intellectual disability formerly known as mental retardation, can be caused by injury, disease, or a problem in the brain. For many children, the cause of their intellectual disability is unknown. Some causes of intellectual disability, such as Down syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, birth defects, and infections can happen before birth. Some happen while a baby is being born or soon after birth. Other causes of intellectual disability do not occur until a child is older; these might include severe head injury, infections or stroke.