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Intellectual Disability (Intellectual Developmental Disorder)

J. Corey Williams, Na Young Ji, M.D.
Intellectual Disability (Intellectual Developmental Disorder) is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide.

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  • Intellectual disability (ID), or intellectual developmental disorder, is a disorder originating during the developmental period that is characterized by significant limitations in both:
    • Intellectual functioning (i.e. general mental capacity such as learning, reasoning, and problem solving) and
    • Adaptive behavior (i.e. conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills)
  • ID is classified under the Neurodevelopmental Disorders section of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5)[1].
    • DSM-5 does not use intelligence quotient (IQ) cutoffs for severity level of ID (mild, moderate, severe, profound), but rather impairments in conceptual, social, and practical domains.
      • For more information on how DSM-5 handles this cutoffs, please see the DSM-5 itself[1].
  • ID replaces the DSM-IV term "mental retardation" (MR)[2].
    • In this prior multiaxial system, the diagnosis of mental retardation was placed on Axis II.
    • IQ cutoffs for mental retardation in DSM-IV were: mild (IQ 50-55 to ~70), moderate (IQ 35-40 to 50-55), severe (IQ 20-25 to 35-40), and profound (IQ < 20-25).

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Last updated: September 3, 2017


Williams, J. C, and Na Y Ji. "Intellectual Disability (Intellectual Developmental Disorder)." Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide, 2017. Johns Hopkins Guide, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787033/all/Intellectual_Disability__Intellectual_Developmental_Disorder_.
Williams JC, Ji NY. Intellectual Disability (Intellectual Developmental Disorder). Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. 2017. https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787033/all/Intellectual_Disability__Intellectual_Developmental_Disorder_. Accessed July 21, 2019.
Williams, J. C., & Ji, N. Y. (2017). Intellectual Disability (Intellectual Developmental Disorder). In Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. Available from https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787033/all/Intellectual_Disability__Intellectual_Developmental_Disorder_
Williams JC, Ji NY. Intellectual Disability (Intellectual Developmental Disorder) [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. ; 2017. [cited 2019 July 21]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787033/all/Intellectual_Disability__Intellectual_Developmental_Disorder_.
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TY - ELEC T1 - Intellectual Disability (Intellectual Developmental Disorder) ID - 787033 A1 - Williams,J., AU - Ji,Na,M.D. Y1 - 2017/09/03/ BT - Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide UR - https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787033/all/Intellectual_Disability__Intellectual_Developmental_Disorder_ DB - Johns Hopkins Guide DP - Unbound Medicine ER -