Friday, November 13, 2015

Essential Facts About Intellectual Disability Services

By Mattie Knight

The term intellectual disability is used interchangeably with other terms such as intellectual development disorder (IDD) and general learning disability. The term mental retardation was initially but was dropped due to the stigma attached to it. IDD can be defined as intelligence that is lower than average. People with this kind of disorder have a bigger challenge in terms of dealing with issues that affect their daily lives. With the availability of intellectual disability services, they are able to overcome challenges and learn new skills.There are a number of things on IDD diagnosis and treatment Portsmouth residents should know.

Three requirements must be met for one to be diagnosed as having intellectual disability. The intelligent quotient is usually below per (between 70 and 75 or below). Intellectual development disorder is also characterised by deficiency in social adaptation. Finally, to separate IDD from other mental disorders, the limitations have to be apparent in childhood.

Intellectual disability may be syndromic or non syndromic based on presence or absence of related medical abnormalities respectively. Down syndrome is a common genetic disorder associated with syndromic disability. Presentation of IDD is usually behavioral, with memory, language development and social skills. These persons also have the challenge of keeping certain unacceptable behaviors in check, a term usually referred to as inhibition.

The causes of intellectual disability are diverse. The most common cause is genetic. Apart from Down syndrome, other genetic conditions involved include Klinefelter syndrome, fragile X, among others. Problems in pregnancy such as alcohol intake or infection with rubella can also result in impaired brain development in the unborn baby. Additional causes include malnutrition, especially in developing countries, exposure to toxins, among others.

The setup of services offered for people with disabilities can take different forms. While some programs provide only day school rehabilitation, some run as a residential area for this people at the same time. Some take the extra step of helping these individuals obtain employment and even take care of their own families.

From the individual, to the caretaker, the community and the medical team, a specific part to play is assigned to each as a contribution towards rehabilitation of persons with IDD. The contribution can be family based, behavioral, psycho social or a combination of the latter two. Psycho-social treatment is initiated early in life before the child enrolls for school as this is the ideal time for a good learning foundation. Children are taught basic skills with repeated rehearsals and celebrated upon achievement.

Language and social skills come in during the behavioral stage of treatment. With the help of a therapist, children are taught using pictures, shapes and other related tools. Some of the skills acquired during this stage especially among older children include sharing, smiling, following instruction and communication. At a higher level, behavioral and psycho-social are combined. At this level, the memory of the individual is challenged by introducing teaching in math, language and so on.

Medical professionals can be involved in specific cases such as autism. Sometimes autistic children may go through a phase of intense behavioral changes that require medical intervention. Usually, they are given anti-psychotics or drugs to stabilize their mood. However, this medication should be taken with caution to avoid serious side effects.

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