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Intellectual Disability


Intellectual disability is a lifelong condition that affects a person’s intellectual skills and behaviour, as their brain and cognition works differently.

Intellectual disability may affect:

  • Learning and memory
  • Talking and communication
  • Developmental milestones and skills.
A man in his teens with Down Syndrome listens intently and looks at a page being pointed at on table in front of him.

The causes of intellectual disability are varied, but may include:

  • Illness or autoimmune response
  • Genetic variation
  • Trauma or injury
  • Affects of substances, drugs or alcohol, including exposure prior to birth

A person with intellectual disability may:

  • Experience challenges in learning
  • Communicate through a device or in a unique way
  • Use support from others for decision making
  • Prefer information in different formats
  • Have other health conditions and needs.



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