Intellectual Impairment

Intellectual disability is a developmental disability, which refers to significant limitations to a person’s level of functioning.  This may involve delayed intellectual growth, inappropriate reactions to one’s environment and below-average performance in academic, psychological, physical, linguistic and social areas (Beirne-Smith, Ittenbach & Patton (2002) in Westwood, 2004 pg 133).  Intellectual disability can be categorised into mild, moderate, severe and profound impairment.

Assessment for an intellectual impairment can focus on determining the following:

  • Does the person have an intellectual disability?
  • What is the person’s current skill level?
  • What level of support does the person require?

Psychologists can utilise a range of norm and criterion referenced assessments in order to assist with assessment and diagnosis.

Retrieved from: 14.04.14



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