Intellectual Disability Symptoms

Do you have any symptoms of Intellectual Disability? Do you even know what they are? Learn more about each symptom of this condition below and what to do if you think you may have Intellectual Disability.


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Symptoms of Intellectual Disability

Symptoms appear before a child reaches age 18 and vary depending on the degree of the intellectual disability. If you think your child has any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to intellectual disability. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions. If your child experiences any one of them, contact your pediatrician.

Symptoms include:

  • Learning and developing more slowly than other children the same age
  • Difficulty communicating or socializing with others
  • Lower than average scores on IQ tests
  • Trouble learning in school
  • Inability to do everyday things like getting dressed or using the bathroom without help
  • Difficulty hearing, seeing, walking, or talking
  • Inability to think logically

The following categories are often used to describe the level of intellectual disability, according to the American Family Physician:


  • IQ 50-70
  • Slower than normal in all areas
  • No unusual physical signs
  • Can acquire practical skills
  • Reading and math skills up to grades 3-6
  • Can conform socially
  • Can acquire daily task skills
  • Integrated in society


  • IQ 35-49
  • Noticeable delays, particularly speech
  • May have unusual physical signs
  • Can learn simple communication
  • Can learn elementary health and safety skills
  • Can participate in simple activities and self-care
  • Can perform supervised tasks
  • Can travel alone to familiar places


  • IQ 20-34
  • Significant delays in some areas; may walk late
  • Little or no communication skills, but some understanding of speech with some response
  • Can be taught daily routines and repetitive activities
  • May be trained in simple self-care
  • Need direction and supervision socially


  • IQ <20
  • Significant delays in all areas
  • Congenital abnormalities present
  • Need close supervision
  • Requires attendant care
  • May respond to regular physical and social activity
  • Not capable of self-care


Learn what Intellectual Disability is
What It Is
Learn the basics of this condition. Find out what you're dealing with.
Intellectual Disability Causes
What causes Intellectual Disability? Learn what the medical community has uncovered.
Intellectual Disability Risk Factors
Risk Factors
Are you at risk of getting Intellectual Disability? Inside you'll find known risk factors for the condition.
Intellectual Disability Diagnosis
How will your doctor diagnose you with this condition? Learn about the tests, process, and more.
Intellectual Disability Symptoms
What are the Intellectual Disability symptoms? Are you showing any? Learn more today.
Intellectual Disability Complications
Can this condition lead to other health problems? Learn more about the known complications.

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Screening for Intellectual Disability
Learn more about the specific tests or exams given by your doctor to screen for Intellectual Disability.
Intellectual Disability Medications
What medications offer relief or help with this condition? Are there side effects? Risks? Learn more.
Intellectual Disability Prevention
How can you prevent Intellectual Disability? Read what the medical community suggests for prevention methods.
Intellectual Disability Treatment
Can this condition be treated? What Intellectual Disability treatment options are available?
Intellectual Disability Care
Learn more about the day to day care of this condition. Changes to your activity, diet, exercise, and more.
Intellectual Disability Doctors
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO