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Intellectual Disability (ID/MR) Testing

Intellectual Disability is a condition of slowed learning and difficulty mastering the everyday skills for taking care of yourself. It was formerly called Mental Retardation - you may find this term in some literature still. Children with ID learn more slowly than other children their age for most subjects. Young children may have been diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay before starting Kindergarten. Usually, all learning is slowed and a child or adult with ID will tend to have problems with social skills and most other tasks if expected to do things the same as others their age. People with ID continue to learn and grow as they mature, but more abstract concepts that cannot be demonstrated and shown are often especially hard to understand.

A formal Intellectual Disability diagnosis is required to access most of the specialized services in school and then in the community for adults. IQ testing along with adaptive ratings (how well they care for themselves) are needed to make an ID diagnosis. Academic testing and review of classroom placement may be helpful for better IEP or transition planning.

What are some signs of Intellectual Disability in children?

  • Delayed development from a very young age or a prior diagnosis of global developmental delay.

  • Very slow learning and language development or extreme problems keeping up with the concepts being taught in a regular curriculum classroom.

  • A child who seems to have a set of skills more typical of a much younger child.

  • Some genetic conditions like Trisomy 21/Down's Syndrome and Fragile X Syndrome are very frequently associated with Intellectual Disability.