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WHAT IS

INTELlectual disability?

A Person with Intellectual Disability (PWID) is associated with the following:

 

  • An Intellectual functioning that is significantly below average (i.e. IQ level of 70 or below)

  • Limitations in daily living skills (adaptive behaviour), e.g. Self care, safety or social skills

  • These limitations become apparent before the person turns 18 years old

It is neither an illness or a disease, but a condition which can occur any time before, during or after birth (before 18 years of age). 

CAUSES OF 

INTELlectual disability

Intellectual Disability may be attributed to various causes, of which only some are known. 

Before Birth

  • Due to genetic inheritance and/or chromosomal abnormality (e.g. Down Syndrome)

  • Problems during pregnancy - infection (arising from the mother)

During Birth

  • Problems during birth (e.g. asphyxia/ lack of oxygen leading to brain damage during prolonged labour and trauma)

After Birth

  • Infections, injury and/ or trauma that may lead to brain damage

  • Malnutrition

This is a non-exhaustive list.

CHARACTERISTICS OF 

INTELlectual disability

Persons with Intellectually Disability may exhibit some of the following traits:

  • Short attention span

  • Difficulties remembering/ retaining information

  • Unable to regulate one's behaviour

  • Suffers from delayed language development

  • Slow learning rate

  • Poor social and communication skills 

MYTHS & FACTS ABOUT 

persons with INTELlectual disability

MYTHS

Intellectually disabled people are mentally ill.

Mental disability is contagious.

The intellectually disabled are a burden on society.

The intellectually disabled do not belong to our community.

The intellectually disabled cannot work.

The intellectually disabled don't have feelings.

FACTS

The intellectually disabled do not develop normally and have limited thinking abilities as a result. They cannot be treated (unlike the mentally ill) but can be trained to live fulfilling and independent lives.

Mental disability is NOT infectious whether you are an infant, a child or an adult.

The intellectually disabled can learn to do household chores or clean himself. Many of them earn a proper living in society.

The intellectually disabled can take part in all activities but only if people allow them to do so. They sing, dance and jump when given a chance to do so!

Some learn vocational skills and are part of the work force. They are involved in cleaning services, carwashes, assembly line work etc.

Intellectually disabled people have emotional needs for love, happiness and pride just like other people. They can feel hurt when people make fun of them. So do your part to make them feel at home!