Intellectual disability (ID) is a development disorder where the individual faces more difficulty than others in grasping concepts and solving problems.
*APSN provides programmes and services for this group of persons
Source: Bouras N, Holt G, Day K, Dosen A, editors. (1999). Mental Health in Mental Retardation: The ABC for Mental Health, Primary Care and Other Professionals. London: World Psychiatric Association.
Intellectual disability involves impairments of general mental abilities that impact adaptive functioning. Some of the common problems faced by MID individuals may include:
While intellectual disability does not have a specific age requirement, an individual’s symptoms must begin during the developmental period and are diagnosed based on the severity of deficits in adaptive functioning. The disorder is considered chronic and often co-occurs with other mental conditions, such as:
Where there is a co-existence of mental illness and intellectual disability, accurate diagnosis and treatment are particularly challenging because of the individual’s impaired cognitive abilities and attention, functional deficits, communication difficulties, and other co-morbid developmental disabilities, such as autism.
For people with intellectual disability, mental disorders can seriously affect their daily functioning, disrupt family relations, and prevent access to community resources for care, training and habitation. The mental disorder often manifests as behavioural difficulties or changes, which require a proper assessment from an inter-disciplinary team of mental health professionals, so that appropriate treatment can be given. Treatment includes the prudent use of medicines, behavioural therapy and occupational therapy. The treatment plans usually look into addressing sensory issues, improving communication skills, advising on environmental manipulation, changing maladaptive behaviour and optimising functional capabilities.