Diagnostic Intellectual
Disability Checklist

Diagnostic Intellectual Disability Checklist to help you determine if an evaluation is appropriate.

Many people struggle with intellectual disabilities that have not been diagnosed. Their undiagnosed disability could be holding them back from enjoying the success and happiness they could otherwise achieve.

Diagnostic Signs - Intellectual Disabilities

Intellectual disability (formerly called mental retardation) is a term used when you are limited in your ability to:

• Learn, think, solve problems, and make sense of the world (called intellectual functioning)
• Live independently (called adaptive behavior)

Intellectual functioning is usually measured with an IQ test. The average score is 100. If you score below 70 or 75, you are said to have an intellectual disability.

Adaptive behavior is measured by looking at:

• Daily living skills, such as getting dressed, going to the bathroom, and feeding yourself
• Understanding what is said and being able to answer
• Social skills with peers, family members, adults, and others

Doctors have found many causes of intellectual disability. But the reason is not known about 40 percent to 50 percent of the time.
Some causes are:

• Genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome ("genetic" means that it runs in families)
• Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
• Problems during pregnancy or childbirth
• Childhood diseases like whooping cough or measles
• Poor nutrition (not eating well)
• Being exposed to poisons like lead or mercury

Most people with intellectual disability can learn to do many things. With support, adults with mild intellectual disabilities often can live and work on their own.

Reference Information from Womens Health.gov

This checklist is designed to help people get started in the right direction. This material is provided for informational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Professional medical advice should be sought whenever appropriate.

Return to Diagnostic Checklists from Diagnostic Intellectual

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