|Description:||This image depicts an intellectually-challenged man in his home, sitting in a recliner, as he was donning his socks and shoes. Living with an intellectual disability does not necessarily mean existing in a non-functional state. There are many degrees of intellectual impairment ranging from an inability to function without assistance, to the ability to function independently, without assistance.|
Intellectual disability can be caused by a problem that starts any time before a child turns 18 years old – even before birth. It can be caused by injury, disease, or a problem in the brain. For many children, the cause of their intellectual disability is not known. Some of the most common known causes of intellectual disability – like Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, fragile X syndrome, genetic conditions, birth defects, and infections – happen before birth. Others happen while a baby is being born or soon after birth. Still other causes of intellectual disability do not occur until a child is older; these might include serious head injury, stroke, or certain infections.