Intellectual Disability and Different Intellegences

The following reviews the meanings of intelligence, as well as, how this applies to those with an intellectual disability, and the characteristics of those with intellectual disabilities that results in their eligibility for special education.


The definitions of intelligence included the wide array of possible categories of intelligence. The categories could include: book, social, problem solving, abstract, imaginary, mathematical, scientific, spiritual, plus many more. According to dictionaries, intelligence can be defined as being informed, understanding, and obtaining knowledge or being knowledgeable. The early warning signs of Mental Retardation (Intellectual Disabilities) can include the inability to obtain and retain knowledge resulting in a child that has developmental delays. In other words, a parent may notice their child is not talking, walking, ect on the same time line as their peers. Depending on the severity and acuteness of the parent, the child may be diagnosed  at a different stage in development.

The next step, if you suspect an intellectual disability, is to get the child tested. Tests using Standard Scores must be used to qualify a child for special education and special services. The following represents the use of Standard Scores as the rating scale, which qualifies a student for MR or having an intellectual disability. The numbers are taken from IQ tests with a standard or average score of 100

Diagnosis: Standard Scores

Severe Mental Retardation: 62 or below (Preschool Severe Delay is below 56)
Moderate Mental Retardation: 77 to 63
Mild Mental Retardation: 85 to 78 (or 1 ½ standard deviations on one area)

Different diagnosis and different children have different needs for treatment and schooling. It is important to remember how much brain development is occurring in the first three years of life and seek help as soon as a problem is suspected. Ask the your child’s school psychologist for more information or look for a Developmental Pediatrician in your area.

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