Assessment and Management of ID in Childhood

Assessment and Management of ID in Childhood

Sumita P. Chowhan (Jain University, India) and Plabita Patowary (Happiest Minds, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1223-4.ch008
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Intellectual disability is a neurodevelopment disorder that affects the intellectual and adaptive functioning. The individual fails to meet standards of personal independence and social responsibility in one or more aspects of daily life, including communication, social participation, academic or occupational functioning, and personal independence at home or in community settings. There is an immense need to understand and be aware of the signs and symptoms of the disorder. This chapter focuses on the process of the assessment which is necessary to identify intellectual deficiency and also the issues that should be taken care of during the process. The various principles and tools of assessment, which can be used to measure IQ, are mentioned. It also focuses on the various challenging behaviors and functional analysis. It also focuses on recent and efficient management strategies that can be used to help the affected person cope and acquire new skills.
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ID is characterized by deficits in general mental abilities and these deficits result in impairments of adaptive functioning. The DSM V included the construct of adaptive behaviour in terms of three domains conceptual, social and practical domains. The conceptual (academic) domain involves competence in memory, language, reading, writing, math reasoning etc. The social domain involves awareness of others' thoughts, feelings, and experiences; empathy; interpersonal communication skills while the practical domain involves learning and self-management across life settings, including personal care, job responsibilities, money management, recreation, self- management of behavior, and school and work task organization, among others (DSM V,2013).

Intellectual disability shows limitations in two areas. These areas are:

  • Intellectual Functioning: Refers to as IQ,which means ability to learn, make decisions and solve problems.

  • Adaptive Behaviours: refers to skills require for day to day life such as being able to communicate effectively, interact with others and take care of oneself.

Signs of Intellectual Disability in Children

There are many different signs of intellectual disability seen during infancy stage, sometimes they may or may not noticeable until school age is reached. It depends on the severity of the problem:

  • Delay in rolling over, crawling, siting or walking.

  • Delay in speech or having trouble in talking.

  • Delay in mastering skills like potty training, dressing, feeding oneself.

  • Difficulty remembering things

  • Inability to relate actions with consequences

  • Behavior problems such as tantrums

  • Difficulty in problem–solving or logical thinking.

In children with severe or profound intellectual difficulties, there may be other health issues such as seizures, autism, mood disorders, motor skills impairment, vision and hearing problem.


Psychological Assessment

Psychological assessment in children is a process to evaluate and understand the child’s problems in different areas, ones capabilities, strengths and limitations. Four important questions to be answered from assessment are:

  • Where is the impairment in the functioning & how is the child functioning impaired

  • What are the consequences of the impairment & how it is impacting the normal functioning

  • What are the other factors(social, motivational,) that contributing in the maintain of the impairment

  • What interventions best suited for the impairment.

The factors complicate the process of assessment with intellectually disable children in obtaining the legitimate estimate of intellectual performance, Presence of severe sensory impairment for example vision, auditory, presence of severe emotional and behavioral disturbance, medication interfere with cognitive neurological functioning. Henceforth it becomes so important that the factors needs to be addressed while assessing for intellectual assessment.

The continuous research on intellectual disability, emphasized that the assessment of intellectual functioning must be evaluated within the context of individual’s age and in relation to peer’s performance of the same age(Tasseet al., 2011). Assessment also should cater for:

  • Accuracy in assessment also relies on cultural and linguistic diversity as well as differences in communication, sensory motor and behavioral factors.

  • Assessment should also give a picture of strengths the child possesses.

  • Assessment should also list out the problem behavior and desirable behavior(Luckasson et al., 2002, p. 1)

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