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Intellectual Impairment

This page holds the current legal definition of intellectual impairment according to Massachusetts special education law.

This resource, coming from Australia, provides a great overview of the different types of intellectual disabilities. Signs and characteristics, common myths and misconceptions, and links to other resources are included. Please note that some terms may be different in the Australian special education laws and professional language.

MDSC’s mission is to ensure individuals with Down Syndrome are valued, included, and given opportunities to pursue fulfilling lives. They are a great organization to explore for information, networking, and advocacy. They provide resources for parents with children of all ages, and they connect parents and their children to programming and support groups.

This resource provides general information about intellectual disabilities, including their known causes, some common signs to look for, how they’re diagnosed, and educational considerations. This is a great site for both parents and educators because it explains the options available to help babies and toddlers and school-aged children. It also offers tips for those just starting to learn about intellectual impairment and how they can best support their children and students.

Children with intellectual disabilities learn more slowly than their peers and experience difficulties in a variety of skills, such as self-regulation, attention, organization, and communication. This resource lays out many of the different characteristics children with intellectual disabilities may exhibit and offers a few recommendations for how parents and educators can practice teaching in a way that promotes learning.

The Arc of Massachusetts represents the interests of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and it provides information and education to individuals, families, and legislatures. It engages in advocacy for community support and services fostering equity and inclusion, and its page includes resources by age, disability type, and topic.

This page gives a brief explanation of the difference between learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities. Both affect learning, and both are covered under special education law in the United States. 

This guidebook is a short read and provides parents with strategies and advice for how to support their other children as they grow up and may face challenges as a sibling of a child with intellectual disabilities. The information comes from Special Olympics and introduces the ways parents and siblings can engage with and find structural support from Special Olympics. Each piece of advice is presented with an example of how parents can model positive behaviors, actively promote inclusion, and enhance the experiences of all their children. 

The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services provides supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to enhance their opportunities to become fully engaged members of their community.

This page was last updated on: 06/09/2021
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