11 Facts About Mental Disability

Teen laughing.
  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.
  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 U.S., roughly 6.5 million people are identified as having an intellectual disability.
  5. Every year, 125,000 children are born with an intellectual disability.
  6. Children with cognitive disabilities may develop slower than other children in terms of speaking, walking, and taking care of themselves (showering, eating, dressing).
  7. 10 percent of Americans have a family member with some sort of intellectual disability.
  8. Intellectual disabilities are 25 times more common than blindness.
  9. The majority of individuals affected by these disabilities show only mild symptoms and may be slightly slower learners than their peers.
  10. People with intellectual disabilities create one of America's largest disability groups.
  11. Only a fraction of intellectual disability cases are genetically-triggered.

Lead an after-school activity that includes students with disabilities. GO

Sources: CMSU, NICHCY, Special Olympics Wisconsin