|March is recognized as Intellectual Disability
Awareness Month – a month set aside to focus on the abilities
and needs of people with Intellectual Disability, their quality of
life and the prevention of this condition.
In Texas Intellectual Disability is defined as a usually
permanent condition originating sometime between birth and age
18. The person's general intellectual functioning is significantly
below average (roughly an IQ of 70 or below) and his or her
behavior does not meet the level of personal independence and
social responsibility expected of the person's age and culture.
Intellectual Disability is found among all races and cultures. An
estimated three percent of the population has Intellectual Disability.
Intellectual Disability: Not the Same as Mental
Intellectual Disability and mental illness are not the same condition,
although they can occur in the same person. Unlike mental illness,
Intellectual Disability always is associated with limited intellectual
capacity, it occurs before age 18, and it is a permanent condition.
In contrast, mental illness is not associated
with a particular level of intelligence, it may occur in a person
at any age, and it is often temporary and treatable. Like
all other persons, individuals with Intellectual Disability can become
mentally ill and they can be treated for their mental illness.
Did you know?
People with Intellectual Disability experience emotions common to
all human beings: joy, sadness, anger, boredom, interest. They
can learn, adjust socially and benefit from appropriate education,
training, personal care and opportunities to work.
The range of possible Intellectual Disability,
based on both intellectual and social criteria, is commonly
divided into four levels: mild, moderate, severe and profound.
The level of Intellectual Disability is the main factor that determines
the degree of outside assistance the person with Intellectual Disability
needs to live a comfortable, productive life. Persons with mild
Intellectual Disability often can merge into competitive labor and
daily community life with minimal assistance, while persons
with moderate Intellectual Disability may need more training and
support in order to live successfully in the community.
Individuals who have a severe or profound
level of Intellectual Disability frequently have disabilities in
addition to Intellectual Disability. They need more assistance than
persons with mild or moderate Intellectual Disability;
with profound Intellectual Disability need a great deal of basic
physical care or supervision to live.
The majority of persons with Intellectual Disability
are at a mild or moderate level. They can live
and work independently or semi-independently in the community.
Those with severe or profound levels of Intellectual Disability can
learn to care for themselves and function successfully in the
community with varying levels of supervision.
Causes of Intellectual Disability
Intellectual Disability is caused by conditions that hinder development
before birth, during birth, or during the period from birth
to age 18. More than 200 causes have been identified; however,
because much is still unknown about Intellectual Disability, the
identified causes account for only about a fourth of all cases
of Intellectual Disability.
- Substance abuse (the most common cause
- Certain illnesses experienced by the
mother during pregnancy.
- Chromosome abnormality.
- Metabolic disorders.
- Destruction of brain tissue or interference
with brain development.
- Environmental factors.
Several factors may be at work in the same
individual. For example, a premature infant is particularly
vulnerable to brain damage. Premature delivery is more common
among mothers who receive inadequate prenatal care, and inadequate
prenatal care in turn is more common in underprivileged groups.
Individuals in these groups have a greater chance of encountering
accidents, disease, and malnutrition and less opportunity for
sensory and social stimulation.
Did you know?
- Intellectual Disability is found among all
races, cultures and socio-economic groups
- An estimated 3% of the population has
- Over 6,000 people in the City of Lubbock
have Intellectual Disability as do
- An additional 1,121 people in the rest
of Lubbock County.
People with Intellectual Disability access the
same generic services as all other citizens in the community.
There are many organizations and private businesses in the Lubbock
area that provide those specialized supports/services that a
person with Intellectual Disability may need.
Some of the supporting organizations and businesses
in the Lubbock area are:
Advocacy. Inc.; American Habilitation; Becca
Health Care; CALAB, Inc.; Community Access, Inc.; Communities
in Schools (CIS); Early Childhood Intervention (ECI);
StarCare Specialty Health System; Lubbock State School; Mosaic; Rockhouse;
Special Olympics Texas; Texas Rehabilitation Commission; YWCA.
Visit these websites for more information: