Intellectual disability

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Intellectual disability is a permanent condition. There are different definitions of what is considered an intellectual disability. In general, these definitions consider two main factors:

  • The affected person has a low score on intelligence tests
  • Those affected have problems interacting with others, or with their environment

The cause of such an illness usually lies in childhood, or in genetic disorders. Intellectual disability is different from dementia. In dementia, people forget things, and they lose skills they once had. People with an intellectual disability never learn those skills.

There is currently no cure. Those affected can learn to cope and do many things, if they get enough support and are taught well. There are no specific drugs that can be taken to treat the condition. Many people with an intellectual disability have other health problems, for which they will be given specific drugs. As an example, autistic children with developmental delay may use anti-psychotics or mood stabilizers to help with behavior. Giving drugs to intellectually disabled people needs to be monitored; side-effects often occur, and are wrongly diagnosed as problems with behaviour or as psychiatric problems.[1]

Society[change | change source]

People with intellectual disability are often treated badly by people without disabilities. Their abusers are often people who are supposed to care for them. 39-83% of women with intellectual disability will be sexually abused before they are 18 years old.[2]

The dignity and human rights of people with intellectual disability are protected by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as other disabilities and equally like other persons without disabilities.

References[change | change source]

  1. Kalachnik, JE.; Hanzel, TE.; Sevenich, R.; Harder, SR. (Sep 2002). "Benzodiazepine behavioral side effects: review and implications for individuals with mental retardation". Am J Ment Retard 107 (5): 376–410. doi:10.1352/0895-8017(2002)107<0376:BBSERA>2.0.CO;2. PMID 12186578.