Intellectual Disability, Pediatric

Rita Panoscha Reviewed 06/2017



  • Intellectual disability (formerly called mental retardation) is characterized by a slow rate of learning or slow cognitive-processing abilities. By definition, there are significant ...



Complete information regarding the following: 
  • Pregnancy history

    • Maternal age and parity

    • Maternal complications (including infections and exposures)

    • Medications/drugs used

    • Tobacco or alcoh...


General Measures

  • There is no specific cure for intellectual disability. The ultimate goal of all therapies is to help the child reach his or her full potential.

  • Therapy should consist of appro...

Ongoing Care

Follow-up Recommendations

Patient Monitoring

  • Children with intellectual disability will need regular pediatric preventive care in addition to management of any underlying medical conditions...

Additional Reading

  • Battaglia  A. Neuroimaging studies in the evaluation of developmental delay/mental retardation. Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet.  2003;117C(1):25–30. [View Abstract]

  • Battaglia ...



  • 319 Unspecified intellectual disabilities

  • 317 Mild intellectual disabilities

  • 318.0 Moderate mental retardation

  • 318.1 Severe intellectual disabilities

  • 318.2 Profound intellectual disabilities



  • Q: Will my child be “normal” by adulthood?

  • A: Generally, intellectual disability is considered a lifelong condition. Some individuals, usually with the milder form of intellectual disability, can f...

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