Is Adhd An Intellectual Disability
Intellectual disabilities are when an individual faces trouble with adaptive and intellectual functioning. ID can be diagnosed with an IQ test. People with an intellectual disability may have difficulty in developing intellect later than others.
Adaptive functioning can include learning, reasoning, social communication, memory, or social judgment.
ADHD, autism, specific learning disorders are co-related disorders to intellectual disabilities. This disability may begin during childhood and teenage and can be identified as delays in learning or motor skills. However, Intellectual disabilities are not easy to identify until a child starts displaying trouble in learning and retaining adaptive skills.
What Are Reasonable Accommodations
An employer is required to provide a reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant or employee with a disability. Lets assume that an employee has disclosed her ADHD to her employer and provided medical documentation or discussed with HR or management how ADHD affects her in the workplace. What kinds of accommodations might she seek and might her employer provide? Note that the employer is not required to provide accommodations that are unreasonable or that may incur substantial costs or be disruptive to the business.
What is reasonable will differ from job to job, but some of the most common reasonable accommodations for ADHD include the following:
Providing a quiet workspace Allowing noise-canceling headphones or white noise Working from home some or all of the time Taking allotted breaks as needed Minimizing marginal functions to allow focus on essential job duties Allowing assistive technology Adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies Reassignment to a vacant position Job restructuring
Qualifying For Disability Benefits
In some cases, children with ADHD might qualify for federal disability benefitsSupplemental Security Income through the Social Security Administration. However, there are strict requirements for qualificationthe child’s condition must cause “marked and severe functional limitations” and symptoms must have lasted for a least one year.
Similar requirements are in place for an adult with ADHD to receive federal benefitsthe condition must cause an inability to do any “substantial gainful activity” and have lasted for at least a year.
Applications for disability benefits are considered on a case-by-case basis. For more information, visit the Social Security Administration website.
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Can Learning Disabilities Cause Depression And Anxiety
A causal relationship is difficult to establish, but it isnt uncommon for a child with a learning disability to struggle with low self-esteem, frustration, and worry. This may be directly related to their academics or more tangentially related to their social environment .
As a child continues in school, if they continue to experience significant struggles academically, that repeated school failure may be associated with an onset of anxiety and depression in later childhood and adolescence. Its possible children with LD are at increased risk for bullying, being bullied, or both. Children may act out behaviorally as a response to frustration or to distract or hide from the difficulties of academics.
In a follow-up article, Ill address more closely how you can best support your child so they are at less risk for low self-esteem, depression or anxiety as a consequence of their learning disability.
Up to 45% of children with ADHD also have a learning disability. If your child does have both diagnoses, it is important to address both.
Learning Disabilities Can Lead To Mental Illness But Not Vice Versa
It is important to note that mental illnesses are not known to cause learning disabilities. They remain two separate entities, and psychological pathways do not lead to learning disabilities. This is proven despite the opposite occurring more than likely.
Essentially, it is a one-way street. Still, the onset of psychological illness, such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder can be triggered by underlying illnesses. The frustration or trauma experienced by individuals that suffer from ADHD links onset to having a learning disability.
Identifying An Intellectual Disability
To diagnose an intellectual disability, the following criteria must be met:
- Limited intellectual functioning: This is typically measured with an IQ test. A test score lower than 70 is usually indicative of limited intellectual functioning.
- Limited adaptive skills: Here, a person with an intellectual disability will struggle with social and practical skills needed for daily functioning. These include conceptual skills like reading or writing, social skills like communication or problem solving, and practical skills like eating, walking, or getting dressed.
- The onset of symptoms before the age of 18: This condition typically develops in childhood. While it ranges in severity, some early signs delayed motor skills, struggle with problem-solving, difficulty remembering things, and delayed speech.
Some research shows that about 20-35% of people who have an intellectual disability are also likely to develop other mental health conditions like anxiety or depression. In determining your child’s diagnosis, several tests might be ordered by your healthcare provider and the team of specialists taking care of your child. These tests include:
Assessing And Managing Attention
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 April 2022
- Bhathika Perera*
- Affiliation:Consultant psychiatrist in intellectual disability services with Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust, London, UK.
- Consultant psychiatrist in intellectual disability services with Sussex Partnership NHS Trust, Brighton, UK.
- Ken Courtenay
- Affiliation:Consultant psychiatrist in intellectual disability services with Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust, London, UK.
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What Is An Ld
A Learning Disability, or LD, is a neurodevelopmental or brain-based disorder that affects people with average or higher intelligence. An LD should not be mistaken for an intellectual disability. Young people with LDs are just as smart as their peers but process information differently. It just means that the process of learning can take longer or the messages do not get to their destination in the brain in a manner that allows for quick neural processing.
LDs are very common. Studies from around the world show that LDs affect 5-15% of the population. Research suggests that 80% of LDs are associated with reading. Since information is often processed this way, this can make understanding information more difficult for a young person with an LD.
LDs are not limited to just reading. Learning Disabilities can make it difficult to read, write, spell, and do calculations. LDs can also affect the ability to organize and recall information, listen and speak and can impact the short-term and long-term memory. LDs can also impact a young persons processing speed and executive functions .
How an LD occurs is not well understood. But, research shows that genetic and environmental factors can alter brain development. These factors can alter how the brain is wired to process information. Although we still do not know what causes LDs, we do know what does not cause them. They are NOT caused by
- ineffective teaching
- lack of instruction
- sensory deficits.
Is Adhd A Mental Disability
In a way, ADHD can be considered a mental disability as it affects an individuals ability to think, act, and feel in otherwise normal circumstances. However, it can be difficult to diagnose ADHD when a person has other disabilities such as intellectual, developmental, and learning.
In every disability, ADHD can be present but can be masked differently making it harder to diagnose. However, to be diagnosed with ADHD, you need to have at least these signs:
A diagnosis can be made by a child psychologist, clinical psychologist, or neuropsychologist.
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Treating Both Adhd And Ld
It is important to treat both ADHD and LDs. For example, if your child is on medication to help with their ADHD, their learning disability problems will still persist. Or if they are receiving assistance for their LD, they will not get the full benefit if they are struggling with their focus and impulsivity.
What Are Learning Disabilities
Learning disabilities are neurological and are not a reflection of you or your childs intelligence or how hard you are trying. A popular way to describe LDs is that your brain is wired differently and you receive and process information in a different way.
Learning disabilities can make reading, writing, spelling, and math difficult. They also can affect your ability to organize and recall information, to listen and speak, and can impact your short term and long term memory and timing.
The term learning disabilities is a collective term for a range of specific learning challenges. Learning disabilities are not problems with learning as a result of vision or hearing problems or learning in a second language, etc.
People with learning disabilities often have average or above average intelligence and yet there is a discrepancy between their achievements and their potential. However, with the right support and interventions, they are able to close that gap and demonstrate their skills.
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Adhd Symptoms Used For Diagnosis
Differentiating between ADHD and other disorders requires the examination of symptoms and how each affects the individuals life. ADHD associated disorders are often observable, and display some of the following behaviors:
- The noticeably short duration of attention span
- Unwillingness to dedicate attention when necessary, especially if unamused
- Verbally, physically, or emotionally hyperactive with the inability to exert self-control
- Behaving impulsive, in adults, is often seen as rebellious or reckless
- Unable to remain still, usually by displaying restlessness and fidgeting
- Lack of priority, being unprepared or disorganized
- Often late, or with no regard for time, or time management
- Difficulty managing moods or regulating emotions
- Easily becoming frustrated, or even angry, even when the trigger is not obvious
- Memory problems or cognitive separation from obligations
- Displaying a lack of responsibility and procrastination
- Unable to multitask or separate two separate events physically or emotionally
- Unreasonably distracted or being unable to pay attention
- Trouble understanding proper order of operations, such as waiting for ones turn and sharing
The difficulty diagnosing learning disorders and mental illness comes from the similarities often seen between them. Yet, ADHD often refers to a difference in how the brain receives and processes information. Or even, how it uses the information to make decisions.
Canadian Paediatric Society Mental Health And Developmental Disabilities Committee
Members: Debbi Andrews MD , Susan Bobbitt MD, Alice Charach MD, Brenda Clark MD , Mark E Feldman MD , Johanne Harvey MD , Benjamin Klein MD, Oliva Ortiz-Alvarez MD, Sam Wong MD
Liaisons: Sophia Hrycko MD, Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Angie Ip MD, CPS Developmental Paediatrics Section Aven Poynter MD, CPS Mental Health Section
Principal authors: Brenda Clark MD, Stacey A. Bélanger MD, PhD
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Types Of Intellectual Disability
The types of intellectual disability are frequently grouped by school-area skill sets. For school-aged children, the most conspicuous types of cognitive impairments involve reading, writing, or mathematics. If your child isn’t yet in school, you may notice delays in speech development or development of gross and fine motor skills . Don’t forget that these learning disabilities look different from one child to another.
Intellectual disability in reading
Two types of intellectual disability occur in reading. One type manifests when your child has difficulty understanding relationships between letters, sounds, and words. The other shows up in problems with reading comprehension where your child has issues grasping the meaning of words, sentences, and paragraphs. Signs of intellectual disability in reading:
- problems in letter and word recognition
- problems understanding words and ideas
- slow reading speed and low fluency
- poor vocabulary skills
Intellectual disability in math
The types of intellectual disability in math vary widely depending on your child. For instance, your child’s ability to succeed in math is affected by any co-occurring language disability, visual impairment, or problems with memory, organization, and sequencing. If your child struggles with memorizing and organizing numbers and math facts, he or she may have an intellectual disability in math. He or she may have great difficulty telling time and with abstract thought.
Intellectual disability in writing
Developmental Monitoring And Screening
Developmental screening takes a closer look at how your child is developing.
Developmental screening is more formal than developmental monitoring. It is a regular part of some well-child visits even if there is not a known concern.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends developmental and behavioral screening for all children during regular well-child visits at these ages:
- 9 months
- 18 months
- 30 months
In addition, AAP recommends that all children be screened specifically for ASD during regular well-child visits at these ages:
- 18 months
- 24 months
Screening questionnaires and checklists are based on research that compares your child to other children of the same age. Questions may ask about language, movement, and thinking skills, as a well as behaviors and emotions. Developmental screening can be done by a doctor or nurse, or other professionals in healthcare, community, or school settings. Your doctor may ask you to complete a questionnaire as part of the screening process. Screening at times other than the recommended ages should be done if you or your doctor have a concern. Additional screening should also be done if a child is at high risk for ASD or if behaviors sometimes associated with ASD are present. If your childs healthcare provider does not periodically check your child with a developmental screening test, you can ask that it be done.
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How Are Intellectual Disabilities Different From Learning Disabilities
These terms can be easily confused, especially for an international audience. In Britain, for example, the term learning disability encompasses what we here in the United States call an intellectual disability. For the purposes of this article, well be focusing on the US definitions. Here in the US, you may also have heard intellectual disability referred to in schools as cognitive impairment/disability.
Having an intellectual disability identifies a person as having significantly below average intellectual functioning and adaptive skills. Historically, the term that people used to describe this condition was mental retardation, but that term, for good reason, has lost favor socially, educationally, and medically.
Intellectual disabilities are the most common developmental disorder, with varying levels of developmental delay in social skills, emotional development, communication capabilities, physical function, and academics. These delays will cause a child to learn and develop more slowly than their peers. Concerns about intellectual disabilities will often show up at a much younger age than a learning disability, typically in ages 2-3 when a child is not meeting cognitive developmental milestones. Children with such delays may take longer to learn to speak, walk, and self-care skills such as dressing or eating. They will most likely learn academics at a slower rate than their peers at school.
Job Rights And Accommodations
Employees with ADHD can receive assistance in many ways.
First, Bird says that a person with ADHD who qualifies for ADA protection cannot be discriminated against at work because of their disability.
An employer must provide reasonable accommodation to that employee in order for them to perform the essential functions of the job, he adds. However, an employer does not have to provide an accommodation that would impose an undue burden on the organization.
According to Weingarden, some helpful job accommodations for people with ADHD may include:
- office settings with minimal distractions
- assistance with organization
- working roles that best use multitasking or strict routine
- adjusting positions to use their strengths to their benefit
- opportunity to balance or bounce between multiple projects at once
- positions with autonomy, leniency, self-employment, or all three
Deadline flexibility, structured breaks, and modified schedules may help as well.
Determining specific accommodations a person is eligible for may require a medical or mental health professional to conduct an in-depth assessment like a neuropsychological examination.
This type of assessment is important because a medical or mental health professional can use the information it provides to help determine if attentional difficulties are due to ADHD or other conditions, like anxiety or depression.
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How To Receive Help
So how can someone with ADHD access support?
A person with ADHD can ask for help by requesting reasonable accommodation if theyre a qualifying person under the ADA, says Bird. The ADA is a federal law. a person with ADHD should remember that there may also be state laws that provide legal protection in the workplace.
Support options may differ depending on each situation. But he notes that appropriate accommodations can usually be determined through an interactive dialogue between the employer and employee. Both parties act in good faith in order to reach an accommodation that can satisfy legal requirements but not impose an undue burden on the employer.
At work, Weingarden says that theres typically a person who works in human resources or a similar department who manages disability accommodations with whom you can talk.
Treating ADHD can help overall functioning and quality of life, adds Weingarden. She says that taking ADHD medication or working with a therapist can help improve your ability to focus, organize, work, or learn.
Do Ada Protections Apply To All Workers With Adhd
To be covered by the ADA, an individual with ADHD must work in a setting that employs more than 15 people. However, many cities and states have laws that mirror the ADA and cover smaller employers and even independent contractors.
As an aside, the ADA does not apply to members of the armed forces. For employees of the executive branch of the federal government, federal contractors, and employees of programs receiving federal funds, the ADA does not apply. Instead, employees are protected by The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which is very similar to the ADA and was the law upon which the ADA was originally based.
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