Summary 10.3

Definition of Intellectual Disability

  • An intellectual disabilities (ID) were a developmental impairment that results in cognitive ability and adaptive functioning that are substandard to a significant degree. More specifically, ID is defined by a combination of three factors:

    • Deficits in intellectual functioning confirmed by both clinical assessment and individualized standardized intelligence testing.

    • Deficits in adaptive functioning in one or more of the following adaptive skills areas:

      • Communication

      • Social participation

      • Independent living

    • Onset during the developmental period.

  • Unlike the the DSM-IV-TR, the DSM-5 rates severity of ID by severity of adaptive functioning, not by IQ score.