Intellectual disabilities are those neurologic disorders whose main characteristic is an IQ (intelligence quotient) below 70 when the standard is around 100. For these type of person, difficulties with daily activities are common, and behavior like self-care, social interactions, and communication can be a challenge. People diagnosed with one of these disabilities often have problems processing information and dealing with abstract concepts like money and time; for them living alone can be challenging if they’ve not been taught the proper strategies to handle these situations.
There are many causes of intellectual disability: many of them have it from a genetic condition, others because of problems during pregnancy or childbirth, health conditions while growing up, and even environmental factors. However, people with intellectual disabilities can live an independent life, because while they still have some challenges, they can learn to overcome them and live their lives to the fullest regardless of their condition.
Types of intellectual disabilities!
Fragile X syndrome (FXS)
One of many genetic disorders, it’s caused by a mutation in the X chromosome that affects the development, learning abilities, communication skills, and physical appearance. The level of severity may vary between individuals with this diagnosis.
It can be confused with autism because there are similar symptoms, such as hand flailing, poor social interactions and communication, and no eye contact. It is more common in boys than girls; the syndrome can appear in 1 in 3,600 boys, while with girls it is a 1 in 4,000-6,000 ratio.
An extra copy of chromosome 21 in the DNA is the cause of the Down syndrome. This is the most common of the genetic disorders that cause intellectual disability. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, around 6,000 babies are born with this syndrome each year in the U.S.
People with Down syndrome can present a variety of characteristics: the intellectual disabilities can range from mild to moderate, and for these children, development is usually slower than for others. Among the characteristic physical features, we can find a slight upward slant of the eyes, a rounded face, and a short stature because of poor muscle tone. They can also present respiratory and heart conditions. With correct treatment and support, their lifespan can be increased up to 60 years.
Autism spectrum disorder
ASD is a developmental disorder that affects communication, social skills, learning, and interaction abilities. It changes the structure and function of the brain; for that reason, children with ASD can present different characteristics, hence why autism is known as a spectrum disorder. But the most important aspect of autism is the struggle with social interactions.
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS)
A genetic disorder that affects chromosome 15, and generates dangerous levels of obesity, because people with this condition suffer from an insatiable hunger; it also causes poor muscle tone and short stature. Children with Prader-Willi find school challenging, especially language and math. Some of the children can be born with distinct facial characteristics like almond-shaped eyes, a narrowing of the head, a thin upper-lip, light skin and hair, and a turned-down mouth.
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)
FASD is a series of conditions that a child presents when the mother has a high-level ingest of alcohol while pregnant because the unborn baby feeds through the mother’s bloodstream. Among the symptoms, we can find distinctive facial features, heart and kidney problems, slow growth, learning disabilities, and memory problems. There is no consensus about what is the safest amount of alcohol a mother-to-be can drink while pregnant, for that reason doctors recommend no-alcohol during pregnancy.
These are some of the most common intellectual disabilities that affect many children around the world. Thanks to the advances in medical and treatments techniques, kids with these disorders can have happy and comfortable lives. Come to Autism Soccer and learn about all the programs that we offer to help in the development of children with intellectual disabilities.
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