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date: 06 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Intellectual disability (ID) is characterized by significant deficits in intellectual skills and adaptive behavior. ID affects approximately 1% of the population; an individual’s ID can range from mild to profound based on the level of impairment and supports needed. Individuals often present with associated challenging behaviors and medical and psychiatric comorbidities that create a complicated clinical picture. Comprehensive assessment is critical for effective treatment. Intervention for ID is focused on addressing the discrepancies between an individual’s ability and environmental demands by providing supports to improve daily functioning. A multidisciplinary approach is necessary. Evaluation and treatment procedures will likely evolve as etiological understanding of ID improves. Greater research and policy attention to several areas of clinical practice are needed to improve prognosis and quality of life. This chapter details diagnostic criteria, assessment and intervention strategies, gaps in and future directions of research and practice, and implications for clinical practice.

Keywords: intellectual disabilities, global developmental delay, cognitive functioning, adaptive skills, comorbidity

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