Intellectual Disability

Girl Looking in CabinetChildren with hemiplegia may also have an intellectual disability due to the brain injury which caused the hemiplegia. The term “intellectual disability” replaces the long-used term “mental retardation” which has acquired an undesirable social stigma and is no longer in use. You may sometimes hear this term referred to as “cognitive impairment.”

An intellectual disability begins before age 18 and has two parts – limitations in intellectual abilities (reasoning, learning, problem solving) and limitations in adaptive behavior (activities of daily living and social skills).

You may also hear the term “developmental disability.”  This is an umbrella term that includes an intellectual disability and and physical disabilities. Some developmental disabilities can be strictly physical.


Intellectual Disability Fact Sheet from NICHCY

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The Arc for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Cognitive impairment after unilateral hemispheric injury of congenital or adult origin


Amherst Regional taps new space to shape life-skills program for special needs students