An Intellectual Disability (ID) is characterised by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviour. Intellectual functioning refers to general mental abilities as measured using an IQ assessment, with an IQ score less than 70 indicating a limitation in intellectual functioning.
These impairments in general mental abilities impact adaptive behaviour across three domains:
- Conceptual domain – includes skills in language, reading, writing, maths, reasoning, practical knowledge, memory, problem solving, and judgement in novel situations.
- Social domain – involves empathy, interpersonal communication skills, the ability to make and retain friendships, and social judgement.
- Practical domain – relates to self-management of behaviour, organisation of school tasks, and personal care.
At Early Start Australia | WA | West Leederville, our assessment tools are carefully selected in order to allow for the examination of each of these areas. Intellectual functioning is assessed using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fifth Edition (WISC-V) or the Wechsler Preschool & Primary Scale of Intelligence, Fourth Edition (WPPSI-IV), while functional assessment tools are used to evaluate skills in the conceptual domain, such as reading, writing and mathematics. Behavioural rating scales, usually completed by parents and teacher, are then used to examine the social and practical domains in order to determine strengths and struggles each individual child experiences.
The diagnosis of a child with an intellectual disability is difficult for parents and we offer ongoing support to families through this process, particularly through the provision of information and recommendations regarding the important next steps after diagnosis. When requested by parents, we make referrals to other medical and allied health professionals, including Paediatricians, Child Psychiatrists, Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Specialist Educators.