Intellectual Disability in Children; a Systematic Review

Document Type : Review


1 Department of Computer Information Systems and Technology, University of Maryland, Maryland, United States of America

2 Department of Law, Psychology & Social Work, Ö􀇆 rebro University, Ö􀇆 rebro, Sweden

3 Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, Maryland, United States of America


Aims Intellectual disability is a condition characterised by the inability of a person to
undertake normal psychological activities. The purpose of this study was to systematically
review the intellectual disability in children and discuss the implications of different
environmental and genetic factors, which describe particular categories of intellectual
disable cases.
Information & Methods This systematic review was performed in 2014 by searching the
existing literature in PubMed database in the scope of “intellectual disability in children”. 38
articles written from 1987 to 2014 were selected and surveyed for review.
Findings The prevalence of ID in the general population is estimated to be approximately 1%.
ID disorder is multi-causal, encompassing all factors that interfere with brain development
and functioning. Causes usually are classified according to the time of the insult, as
prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal or acquired. Some causes, such as environmental toxins
or endocrine disorders, may act at multiple times. Others, such as genetic disorders, have
different manifestations during postnatal development. The outcome for ID is variable and
depends upon the aetiology, associated conditions, and environmental and social factors. The
goals of management of ID are to strengthen areas of reduced function, minimize extensive
deterioration in mental cognitive and adaptability, and lastly, to promote optimum or normal
functioning of the individuals in their community.
Conclusion Prominent features of ID include significant failures in both intellectual
functioning and adaptive behaviour, which comprises daily social and practical life skills,
commencing earlier in life.