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Intellectual Disability

or Intellectual Developmental Disorder


Intellectual disability (ID) is sometimes referred to as "general learning disability" or "intellectual developmental disorder". ID occurs in about 4% of children and is more common in boys than girls.

Children and adolescents with ID have significant deficits in intelligence, as well as ongoing difficulties with independence and daily living activities. These individuals tend to struggle with communication, social interactions, health, self-care, and school learning. 

Signs and symptoms of ID:

  • Poor or lack of language skills
  • Slow or unable to process information
  • Unable to solve problems
  • Inability to plan and organise
  • Struggles to pay attention
  • Deficits in learning and memory
  • Impaired judgement
  • Requires a lot of 1:1 support
  • Fails to look after own health and hygiene
  • Social and behavioural difficulties

Living with ID is usually very taxing for the young person and the family. Optimistically, there are many supports available and a higher quality of life is attainable. 

​You can learn more about ID by visiting the Carer Gateway or Council for Intellectual Disability (CID) websites. 

Psychological Assessment of ID

Psychological assessment is typically required for the accurate diagnosis of ID. These assessments should also specify whether the child's ID is mild, moderate, severe or profound. Psychological reports are often used by families as evidence of disability to obtain additional support and funding (via the NDIS or Department of Education). 

If you think your child is suffering with an intellectual impairment, talk to one of our experts today.

You can find more information about accessing the NDIS here.

Getting a diagnosis

Children must be evaluated by either a paediatrician, psychiatrist or psychologist to receive a formal diagnosis of ID. Psychological assessments are the usually the most valid and reliable way to determine whether a diagnosis is appropriate or not.

Find out more about getting a diagnosis here.

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