Disability refers to substantial
limitations in present functioning and is characterized by the
1. below average intellectual functioning
(IQ of 70 or below).
2. limitations in two or more of the
- self care
- self direction
- home living
- functional academics
- health and safety
- social skills
- community use
3. manifestation before age 18.
From: "Those of Us
DisLabeled: A Guide
to Awareness and Understanding", University of Kentucky Human Development
Institute, Cooperative Extension Service)
For Mild to Moderate Intellectual Disability:
- Do not use complex sentences with a
person who is mentally slow.
- Concentrate on concrete ideas and skills.
An individual with Intellectual Disability often has trouble with abstract
- Make instructions clear and concise.
Break directions down into small steps or tasks.
- Demonstrate whenever possible. Showing is
often more effective than telling.
- Be patient, persistent, and
- Provide warmth and acceptance. Promote a
sense of security through a smile, words of praise, or physical
expressions of affection.
- Show respect. Do not be condescending.
Talk to the individual as a person; talk to an adult as an adult, not as
- Don't have low expectations for a person
with Intellectual Disability. Given training and support, a person with
retardation can be gainfully employed and totally integrated into
society as a valuable, contributing member.
For Severe to Profound
- Use the accommodations listed
- Do not react with pity, anxiety, or a
variety of other negative emotions when first meeting a person with a
- Use age-appropriate conversation.
- Use age-appropriate activities.
- Include these individuals in community
and family activities. Even an individual with profound retardation
profits from events that provide integration/interaction with persons
who are not handicapped. In fact, this is the way he/she learns best.
Being exposed to every phase of community life allows him/her to learn
the behaviors necessary for achieving maximum participation in