What Is an Intellectual Disability?
Intellectual disability (ID) is a term used to describe a person with certain limitations in cognitive functioning and other skills, including communication and self-care. These limitations can cause a child to develop and learn more slowly or differently. Intellectual disability is the most common developmental disability. Learn more.
Some examples are below:
Fragile X Syndrome
Fragile X is a genetic condition that affects a person’s development, especially behavior and the ability to learn. In addition, Fragile X can affect communication skills, physical appearance and sensitivity to noise, light, or similar stimulus. Fragile X is the most common form of inherited intellectual and developmental disability. Learn more.
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Down syndrome describes a set of cognitive and physical symptoms that result from having an extra copy or part of a copy of chromosome 21. Down syndrome is the most frequent chromosomal cause of mild to moderate intellectual disability, and occurs in all ethnic and economic groups. Learn more.
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Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorder (known as ASD or, more generally, autism) is a complex neurological and developmental condition that affects how a person learns, communicates and interacts with others. Different people with autism can have different symptoms, which is why it's known as a "spectrum" disorder. Autism affects the structure and function of the brain and nervous system. Learn more..LEARN MORE ››
Other Intellectual Disabilities
There are many other types of intellectual disabilities -- some have known causes, while others remain unknown. Some happen before birth, such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Apert Syndrome; others happen as a baby is being born or soon after birth. Other causes of intellectual disability occur when a child is older; these might include serious head injury, stroke, or certain infections. Learn more.
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How to Speak to Someone with a Disability
Whether you are in a health care or other professional environment or just having a personal conversation, follow some basic rules for communicating with a person with an intellectual disability. This video shows you how.