Intellectual Disability: Epidemiology

A global definition for intellectual disability (ID) does not exist; however, the World Health Organization defines ID as a condition of halted or incomplete development of intelligence. ID is specifically characterized by impairment of cognitive, language, motor, and/or social skills exhibited during the developmental period. Individuals with ID may also have other mental or physical conditions. In the book Intellectual Disability: Definition, Classification, and Systems of Supports, 11th edition, published by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), ID is a disability due to significant limitations in intellectual function (an intelligence quotient, or IQ score of 70–75) and in adaptive behavior (including conceptual, social, and practical skills necessary for people to live independently and to function safely and appropriately in daily life). According ...

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