The term “mental retardation” is now commonly referred to as “intellectual disability” by the medical community. Intellectual disability is not a mental health disorder but rather a condition in which a person's intellectual functioning capacity is significantly lower than the average person's. There are varying degrees of intellectual disabilities, from mild to profound, which are generally determined by test results such as intelligence quotient (IQ) tests, developmental quotient (DQ) tests or the amount of support required to function day-to-day.
Causes of Intellectual Disability
Physicians cannot always pinpoint the exact cause of intellectual disability. Discovered in children under age 18 or even before the child is born, this condition can be caused by a number of factors that disrupt the brain's normal growth and development, including:
- Brain abnormality
- Disease or illness, such as measles, whooping cough, etc.
- Injury, such as stroke, head injury or meningitis
- Problems during birth
- Biomedical problems, such as abnormal genes or metabolic conditions
- Unsafe behaviors during pregnancy, such as taking drugs or alcohol, illnesses, smoking or malnourishment
- Exposure to harmful toxins, such as lead poisoning
- Harmful living environments, such as poverty, malnutrition, insufficient medical care, abuse or neglect
The symptoms of intellectual disability can include:
- Slow growth
- Slow motor skills
- Delayed speech development
- Aggressive behavior
- Slow learning or trouble learning
- Impaired sensory skills
- Physical deformities or abnormalities
- Weight gain
Sadly, a person's basic intellectual capabilities cannot be altered. While there are medications available to help treat the medical problems faced by some individuals suffering from intellectual disabilities, most treatment programs for these individuals focus on teaching them to function with their disability and become more self-sufficient.
- Special schools to provide education, socialization and basic living skills
- Job training
- Family therapy
- Supervised living arrangements
The support needed to help individuals with intellectual disabilities can leave an emotional, physical and financial drain on other family members. While some individuals only need occasional support to carry out daily activities, others require full-time, high-level.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can help ease the financial burdens faced by family members of a loved one who suffers from intellectual disabilities. The experienced Social Security Disability attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman in Virginia know how to sift through the social security disability requirements to get you the most compensation as quickly as possible. Please contact our office today by calling (800) 361-0430 or completing our online form for a free consultation.