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Intellectual Disability—Causes and Prevention

Intellectual Disability—Causes and Prevention

Intellectual disability, also known as low intelligence, is an impairment in adaptive behavior. When intelligence is lower than normal, as determined by the use of IQ tests, a person might be diagnosed with intellectual disability. Typically, this condition occurs and manifests even before an individual reaches the age of 18.

Some people with intellectual disabilities may have limited intellectual functioning, learn new things more slowly, have limited physical coordination, and increased medical issues. Families may seek help from home health care for assistance to support intellectually disabled individuals lead self-directed lives and participate in the community.

Causes
The most common causes of intellectual disability start way before birth. Mothers may lack adequate prenatal care and have suffered from diseases during pregnancy like measles, syphilis, HIV, and others. Some cases may be caused by the mother or father’s abuse of drugs, alcohol, and/or cigarettes.

  • Birth or delivery problems could also contribute. For example:
    • Low birth weight;
    • Premature delivery; and
    • Lack of oxygen

    Childhood infections (e.g. spinal meningitis, encephalitis, etc.) and childhood injuries (e.g. falls, lead poisoning, near-drowning) are also contributing factors. Abuse and neglect from parents could also lead to this disability such as shaking the baby, malnutrition, or cultural deprivation.

  • Other causes include:
    • Genetic Disorders
    • Down syndrome
    • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
    • Fragile X

Prevention
Pregnancy care is a crucial component to avoid intellectual disabilities. Mothers should have:

  • Pregnancy pre-screening tests;
  • Improved prenatal care, avoiding smoking, drinking, and drugs;
  • Improved childhood health care, including immunizations;
  • Consistent safety precaution like the use of car safety belts and bike helmets; and
  • Parent education such as health care, parenting skills, advance care in Tennessee, and others.

AdvanceCare Health Services LLC provides health services in Hermitage, Tennessee that prioritizes the health and safety of you and your loved ones.

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