What is Intellectual Disability?

Intellectual Disability

Intellectual disability is a developmental disorder characterised by limitations in intellectual functioning (reasoning, learning, problem-solving) and adaptive behaviour (communication, social and practical skills). This disability originates before the age of 18, and the individual faces more difficulty than others in thinking, learning, and independence.

Intellectual disability is not an illness or disease, but a condition which can occur anytime before, during, or after birth (before 18 years of age). Genetics also play a part as an intellectual disability may occur via the genetic transmission of traits from parents to offspring.

Intellectual Functioning refers to general mental capacity, such as learning, reasoning, problem-solving, etc.

Adaptive Behaviour comprises three skill types – conceptual skills, social skills, and practical skills.

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Learn more about our Research Highlights

Exploring the knowledge and competency of Positive Behavioral Support (PBS) amongst Disability professionals in Singapore
Disability professionals provide support to people with learning disabilities with behaviours of concern but the understanding and competency of PBS in Singapore is unknown. The findings indicated that in Singapore, restrictive practice is still prevalent and PBS is not widely practiced in the disability sector.
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Development of the minds client profile checklist for determining The vocational competency of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities
The present study reports on the development of the Client Profile Checklist (CPC) to assess vocational competency of adults with IDD. The preliminary results suggest that the CPC may be a useful tool for assessing vocational competency of adults with IDD according to the level of support they require.
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Identifying support needs of elderly caregivers of clients with intellectual disabilities in supported employment services in Singapore
The research aims to access the needs of elderly parents as caregivers and the perceived needs of their children with intellectual disabilities through semi-structured interviews. Results talks about child’s care plans and areas to pay attention to for the elderly caregivers.
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Evaluating the effectiveness of support programme for siblings of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Singapore over a five-year period
The research aims to access the effectiveness of a siblings support programme conducted at a large intellectual disability service provider in Singapore. Results were analysed to examine if the programme had met its intended objectives. The paper discusses findings to encourage practitioners to focus on supporting the needs of siblings.
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Preparing adolescent siblings of brothers and sisters with intellectual and developmental disabilities for potential caregiving in future
This study aimed to understand siblings’ feelings and concerns of future caregiving for their brother and sister with ID, and looked at factors that could better prepare siblings for future caregiving. Results show that there are more acceptance among the eldest sibling and worries were more for those without siblings support.
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Implementing Active Support in disability day services: A 6-month prospective study on engagement and behaviours of concern among adults with intellectual disability
This study examines the impact of Active Support in day services for adults with intellectual disability in Singapore, particularly on engagement and behaviours of concern. The Active Support group saw increases in activity engagement and social engagement with staff, and decreases in disengagement and stereotypical behaviours, compared to the control group over time.
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