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Intellectual Developmental Disorder

Intellectual Development Disorder

I) Overview

Intellectual developmental disorders (IDDs) are a broad spectrum of developmental disorders characterized by delayed or lost adaptive abilities in self-care, self-direction, social skills, communication, living in the home, accessing community resources etc. This broad term includes disorders of the autism spectrum, fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome and many others. There are different levels. The etiology of IDD can be extensive, although most involve genetics, prenatal events, or environmental risk factors. Severe problems with daily functioning often indicate that a person with IDD needs ongoing support.

  1. Intellectual Developmental Disorder Causes: 

Diseases vary in origin and symptoms, although they are often associated with IDD. IDD is usually hereditary. Developmental impairment in cognitive abilities, altered function, or both can result from specific genetic disorders or abnormalities. Among the genetic conditions linked to IDD are Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and Wolff-Hirshhorn syndrome.

Sometimes, intrauterine problems include infections, drug use, or pregnancy-related medical problems, lead to IDD. Environmental risk factors can also result in poisoning, dietary deficits, and lead toxicity.

  1. Types of Intellectual Developmental Disorders:

Depending on the underlying reason, related dysfunctions, and inherited components, one can determine the particular type of IDD. Most often seen intellectual developmental diseases are fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, and Prader-Willi syndrome.

  • An extra copy of chromosome 21 causes Down syndrome, the most prevalent chromosomal abnormality. People with Down syndrome usually struggle with language, learning, and communication in addition to varied degrees of intellectual impairment, from mild to severe.
  • The inherited disorder One faulty gene on the X chromosome is the source of fragile X syndrome. Reduction of muscular tone, cognitive deterioration, and speech and language problems are possible symptoms.
  • A variety of intricate brain development conditions known as autism spectrum disorders cause communicative, social, and restricted or repetitive behavior issues.
  • Infancy hypotonia (low muscle tone), intellectual impairment, short stature, and obesity in adult life are hallmarks of the genetic condition known as Prader-Willi syndrome.
  • Rare genetic disorder William’s syndrome is typified by traits including unique facial features, cardiovascular issues, cerebral impairment, and particular learning difficulties.


Many IDD disorders are inherited defects. Specially, aberrant chromosomes are linked to IDD. One prevalent instance is the genetic defect that causes Down syndrome. Trisomy 21, trisomy 18, and Klinefelter syndrome are further instances of chromosomal abnormalities linked to IDD.

Additionally contributing to IDD are inherited genetic disorders. For example, fragile X syndrome is brought on by a single inherited genetic mutation. Among the many additional genetic disorders that can cause IDD are aberrant mitochondria.

Environmental Factors:

Additional contributing causes of IDD can be environmental ones. IDD risk can be raised by lead poisoning, pollutants, poor nutrition in utero, and untreated illnesses in a child’s early years. Pregnant women at higher risk of IDD may also be exposed to alcohol or nicotine.

  1. List of Intellectual Developmental Disorder Symptoms:

The kind of condition and the age of the person determine the symptoms of IDD, but most sufferers of the condition have some or all of the following:

  • Motor skills and speech delayed or absent
  • Not so good academic standing
  • Hard time taking care of oneself
  • Inadequate social abilities
  • Impetuous actions
  • Not enough sensory development 
  1. Identifying Intellectual Developmental Disorder:

Generally speaking, a group of experts—a doctor, psychologist, therapist, or educator—diagnoses IDD. To explore for specific indications and symptoms linked to IDD, clinical evaluations, interviews, and testing are often part of the diagnosing process.

To evaluate the person’s cognitive and social skills, the team may provide tests including IQ tests, neuropsychological assessments, and adaptive functioning assessments in addition to the physical and psychological ones.

  1. Handling Intellectual Developmental Disorders:

Treatment for IDD is centred on reducing symptoms and optimizing the person’s potential through therapy, lifestyle modifications, and medication; there is no miracle cure. Among the most often prescribed IDD therapies are:

  • Behavioral and educational therapy addresses the patient’s communication and self-care skills among other areas. Specialised programmes can get better social skills; occupational therapy can assist with self-care; and speech-language therapy can develop communication skills.
  • Depending on the individual’s needs, particular medications may be prescribed to treat disorders such as aggression, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.
  • Other interventions — Depending on the individual’s needs, additional therapies and supports such as vocational training, assistive technology, and assisted employment may be available to assist people with IDD in finding rewarding jobs.

Broadly speaking, “intellectual developmental disorder” (IDD) refers to both delays and impairments in adaptive capacity as well as intelligence deficits. Many conditions, including fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, and autism spectrum disorders, are described by this general term. Genetic, associated dysfunctions, and underlying aetiology will determine the specific form of the disease; both inherited and environmental risk factors can contribute to IDD. The aims of the treatment are to enhance the potential of the patient and control symptoms through medication, counselling, and lifestyle changes. It takes a comprehensive assessment including testing and interviews to diagnose.



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