The Most Common Developmental Delay
In the United States, about 6.5 million people have an intellectual disability, with more than 545,000 children between the ages of 6 and 21 receiving special education services, according to the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. As an intellectual disability is the most common type of developmental delay, special education teachers will most likely have a student in their classroom at some point with the condition.
Other terms may be used instead of intellectual disability, though it is the preferred term as other terminology has a negative connotation. Though certain diagnostic tools, such as the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders," still use the term mental retardation, the work group for the fifth edition of the manual has recommended making the change to the term intellectual disability.
Students with intellectual disabilities may require special services to succeed academically. For example, they may receive special education services or classroom adaptations to help them learn. Bright Hub Education has several articles on intellectual disabilities, which can help parents and teachers understand what an intellectual disability is as well as what educational resources can help students succeed.