What is an Intellectual Disability?

A child is considered to have an Intellectual Disability when their ability to perform intellectual functioning (reasoning, learning, problem solving) or their adaptive behavior (which is a range of social and practical skills) is significantly limited. This form of disability shows itself well before the age of 18 and covers a wide variety of factors that lead to the limited ability to process information by a child.

Children are diagnosed as having an Intellectual Disability when the following is present

  • An IQ of 75 or less
  • Limitations in adaptive behavior- this covers conceptual skills, social skills and practical skills
  • These results are present as a child, which is defined as age 18 or less

Intellectual Disabilities can be caused by a varying number of factors. Children can be born with Intellectual Disabilities, but environmental and social factors can also contribute to a child developing an Intellectual Disability. With a variety of risk factors that can contribute to a child having an Intellectual Disability is has been difficult for experts to find one main cause for these forms of disability.

Because this form of disability encompasses the cognitive part of the brain and the thought process, children who have been diagnosed with Intellectual Disabilities most often benefit from Occupational Therapy that is designed to challenge this part of their brain and have them thinking. Playing with puzzles, building blocks and even learning how to clean up and put away toys help these children with everyday activities in order to prepare them for the simple problem solving skills needed in their lives.

Children with Intellectual Disabilities can also benefit greatly from open play and learning how to master a variety of activities such as climbing, swinging, jumping, crawling and even falling. To address a social deficiency, children are able to gain an advantage by learning how to take turns and what is acceptable behavior. All of the necessary elements to assist children in problem solving and helping them to spark the cognitive part of their brain are present at We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym.

Even though children with Intellectual Disabilities are likely to suffer from them during their entire lifetime, it has been found these children can learn and master many of the basic functions needed to be able to comfortably function in social settings.