Understanding intellectual disability

The causes of intellectual disability can vary from genetic conditions, injuries, infections or problems around the time of birth. For many people however, no cause is found. It is common for people with intellectual disability to have other types of disability. People with intellectual disability may have difficulty identifying and choosing options at key life transition points – two important transition points are from home to school and from school to adult life (study, employment, meaningful activities). 

Facts about intellectual disability 

  • Over half a million Australians have intellectual disability. 

  • There are four levels of intellectual disability - mild, moderate, severe, and profound. 

  • Almost 60 per cent of people with intellectual disability have severe communication limitations. 

What are the symptoms of intellectual disability? 

People with an intellectual disability often have difficulty with learning, reasoning and problem solving. It can also affect adaptive behaviour like independence, social skills and personal care. The age of onset for these conditions to occur is during the developmental period. A formal assessment needs to be carried out for a child to be diagnosed with an intellectual disability. This is completed by a psychologist or qualified professional in the assessment of cognitive and adaptive behaviour. 

How can CPL help?

No matter where you are on your journey, we are ready to help you achieve your goals. Our services aim to support people to reach their full potential through:  

For more information about how we can support you with intellectual disability, visit our services page, call us on 1800 275 753 or send an online enquiry

Reports And Statistics On Disability Services