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  1. “Intellectual disability” (previously known as mental retardation) means that an individual mentally develops at a below-average rate. These people can have learning difficulties and trouble socially adjusting.
  2. Intellectual disability (sometimes called “cognitive disability”) is not a disease or a contagious condition. You can challenge your friends to reduce stigma around disability. Sign up for We Are Able.
  3. This type of disability (which differs from person to person) can be caused by any condition which impairs development of the brain before or during birth or in early childhood. More than 250 causes of intellectual disability have been discovered.
  4. In the US, roughly 4.6 million people are identified as having an intellectual disability.
  5. One known cause of mental disability is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and is totally preventable.

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  1. Children with cognitive disabilities may develop slower than other children in terms of speaking, walking, and taking care of themselves (showering, eating, dressing).
  2. About 25% of cases of mental disability are caused by a genetic disorder.
  3. A BBC poll conducted in the UK concluded that “retarded” was the most offensive disability-related word.
  4. The majority of individuals affected by these disabilities show only mild symptoms and, with the right support, can greatly improve, learn, and develop.
  5. 92% of adults with mental disability live independently or with family members, while 8% live in an institution or group home.
  6. In about 25 to 33% of children born with mental disability, the cause is unknown.

Sources

  • 1

    Shapiro BK, Batshaw ML. Intellectual disability. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 33.

  • 2

    Special Olympics. “What is Intellectual Disability?”. http://www.specialolympics.org/Sections/Who_We_Are/What_Is_Intellectual_Disability.aspx. Accessed Nov 7th, 2014.

  • 3

    The Arc of the United States. (2001). Preventing Mental Retardation: A Guide to the Causes of Mental Retardation and Strategies for Prevention. Silver Spring, MD.

  • 4

    Larson, S.L. et al. (2000). Prevalence of mental retardation and/or developmental disabilities: Analysis of the 1994/1995 NHIS-D. MR/DD Data Brief. Minneapolis, MN: Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota.

  • 5

    Streissguth, A.P., Bookstein, F.L., Barr, H.M., Sampson, P.D., O’Malley, K., & Young, J.K. (2004). Risk factors for adverse life outcomes in fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol effects. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 5(4), 228-238.

  • 6

    Center for Disease Control. “Intellectual Disability Fact Sheet”. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/pdf/parents_pdfs/IntellectualDisability.pdf. Accessed Nov 7th 2014.

  • 7

    Daily DK, Ardinger HH, Holmes GE (February 2000)."Identification and evaluation of mental retardation". Am Fam Physician 61 (4): 1059–67, 1070. PMID 10706158

  • 8

    Rohrer, Finlo (2008-09-22). "UK | Magazine | The path from cinema to playground". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-06-29.

  • 9

    American Association on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities. (2011). Intellectual Disability: Definition, Classification, and Systems of Supports, 11th Edition. Washington, DC: American Association on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities.

  • 10

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (January 2004). "Economic costs associated with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, and vision impairment--United States, 2003". MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 53 (3): 57–9.PMID 14749614

  • 11

    Daily DK, Ardinger HH, Holmes GE (February 2000)."Identification and evaluation of mental retardation". Am Fam Physician 61 (4): 1059–67, 1070. PMID 10706158

Challenge your friends to reduce the stigma around disability.

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