Intellectual Disability


What is an Intellectual Disability?

DSM-V defines intellectual disability as a disorder with onset during the developmental period that includes both intellectual functioning including abstract thinking, judgment, academic learning, problem solving.  Adaptive functioning including limitations in activities of daily living, communication, social participation, and independent living across multiple environments such as home, school, work and community. Deficits are on the onset during the developmental period.

According the American Association on Intellectual Disabilities (AAIDD), Intellectual Functioning refers to general mental capacity such as, learning, reasoning and problem-solving.


Although historically, the levels of severity was based on I.Q. scores, this has changed to adaptive functioning which determines the levels of support required.

  • Social Domain- There may be difficulties in regulating emotions and behaviors in an age-appropriate manner. There tends to be a limited understanding of calculated risk, and social judgment.
  • Practical Domain- May need assistance in independent living skills such as grocery shopping, transportation, banking and food preparation.
  • Social Domain: Capacity for relationships is evident in ties to family and friends and may have successful friendships across life and sometimes relationships in adulthood.
  • Practical Domain: Can care for personal needs involving eating, dressing and hygiene and as an adult participate in all household task.
  • Social Doman: Spoken language is limited. Speech may be ingle words or phrases. The individual understands simple speech.
  • Practical Domain: Requires support for all activities of daily living, including meals, dressing and bathing. The person will require supervision at all times. Unable to make responsible decisions regarding self-care.
  • Social Domain: Has limited understanding of symbolic communication in speech and gestures. The person expresses his or her own desires and emotions through non-verbal communication.
  • Practical Domain: The child or adult is dependent on other people for basic needs including self-care and independent living including health and safety.
Global Developmental Delay

Children under the age of 5 are given this diagnosis when an individual fails to meet expected developmental milestones in several areas of intellectual functioning. This includes children who may be too young to participate in standardized testing.


Causes can include:

  • Complications during childbirth
  • Problems after birth
  • Chromosomal (Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome)
  • Metabolic
  • Nutritional
  • Genetic
  • Poverty and cultural factors


  • Approximately 1% of the world population
  • Prevalence for severe intellectual disability is 6 per 100
  • In the United States, Intellectual disability comprises of 3 percent of the general population
  • Nationally, 34% of people with intellectual disability are employed
  • Males are more likely than females to be diagnoses with both mild and severe



Self-Care 12 Week Challenge (Week 9)


Week 9 Challenge- Smoothies

Benefits of Drinking Smoothies Include:

  1. You receive your daily allowance of fruits and vegetables
  2. Contributes to weight loss
  3. Improves Your digestion
  4. Detoxifies your body
  5. Improves skin and hair
  6. Strengthens the immune system
  7. Increase energy
  8. Gives you the recommended intake of fiber
  9. Improves your overall happiness
  10. Keeps you hydrated

Article Links on Smoothie Recipes

10 Most Pinned Smoothie Recipes

11 Healthy Breakfast Smoothies

20 Super-Healthy Smoothie Recipes

30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge

34 Surprisingly Delicious High-Protein Smoothie Recipes

50 Great Smoothie Recipes

Healthy Smoothie Recipe

Quick and Healthy Smoothie Recipes

The Only 4 Smoothie Recipes You’ll Ever Need


Self-Care 12 Week Challenge (Week 8)


Week 8 ChallengeExplore

The word “explore” is defined as looking at something in a careful way to learn more about it.

Exploring is not something that comes to mind when seeking ways to reduce stress. there are however, many health benefits to exploring:

  • Increases mental health, psychological and spiritual development
  • Aids in stress reduction
  • Gives a sense of belonging
  • Improves self-confidence
  • Gives a connection to a larger community
  • Aids in physical activities which reduces depression and anxieties
  • Reduces the risk of disease
  • Improves psychological well-being.
“We Must Go and See for Ourselves” – Jacques Costeau

How do you explore? Keri Smith  in her book, How to be an explorer of the world, describes using the following techniques:

  • Always look
  • Consider everything alive and animate
  • Everything is interesting
  • Notice the stories around you
  • Observe moments
  • Trace things back to their origins
  • use all of your senses
Types of activities involving Exploring:
  1. Go cloud watching
  2. go hiking
  3. Explore a flower
  4. Gaze at the stars
  5. Watch a sunset
  6. Take a compass walk
  7. Explore a tree
  8. Visit historical sites
  9. Visit museum exhibits
  10. Explore caverns
  11. Spend a day at a farm
  12. Spend a day at a science museum
  13. Go camping with your family/friends
  14. Go horseback riding
  15. Go bird watching
  16. Experience rock climbing
  17. Learn about indigenous culture
  18. Scuba dive
  19. Go snorkeling
  20. Follow an ant trail

Self-care 12 Week Challenge (Week 7)


Week 7 ChallengeRead

According to Pew Research Center, Some 76% of American adults ages 18 and older said they read at least one book in the past year. The study also found that although e-books are on the rise, most people prefer reading a print book. So what does this has to do with self-care and reading? There are many benefits to reading books on a regular basis that helps in providing self-care. The benefits include:

  • reading can help you relax
  • helps you concentrate
  • slows down cognitive decline
  • Boost your vocabulary
  • Improves empathy

The focus for this week is to read books that will guide you in your journey towards self-improvement, self-discovery and personal development. There are many advantages towards reading  books that will enhance your own personal development:

  • reduces stress by reading uplifting books with positive words
  • You work through your own perception of your limitations

Below are a number of books that are considered “classic” self-help books that have withstood the test of time.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success- Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra’s the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success focuses on people understanding their true nature which is to learn to live in harmony with natural law thus brining a sense of well-being, good health, fulfilling relationships and enthusiasm for life. The laws include:

  1. The law of pure potentiality
  2. The law of giving
  3. The law of “Karma” or cause and effect
  4. The law of least effort
  5. The law of intention and desire
  6. The law of detachment
  7. The law of “Dharma” or purpose in life.

As a Man Thinketh- James Allen

Published originally in 1903, As a Man Thinketh is considered a classic in the self-help genre. Allen writes, “The mind guides our footsteps as we progress along the pathway of life.” This book purports that our mind and thoughts create our reality. The chapters include:

  1. Thought and Character
  2. Effect of Thought on Circumstances
  3. effect of Thought on Health and the Body
  4. Thought and Purpose
  5. The Thought Factor in Achievement
  6. Vision and Ideas
  7. Serenity

Awaken the Giant Within- Tony Robbins

Written in 1993, Awaken the Giant Within focuses on personal achievement in all aspects of your life by taking control of your mental, emotional, physical and financial destiny. The book is divided into four sections:

  1. Unleash your Power
  2. Taking Control- The Master System
  3. The seven Days to Shape your Life
  4. A Lesson in Destiny

Keys to Success- Edited by Matthew Sartwell

Napoleon Hill’s Key to Success provides practical information on achieving success. The overall theme of the book is that you can achieve anything in life if you believe you can.

The Magic of Thinking Big- David Joseph Schwartz

This classic self-help book is more than just about visualization. It offers techniques and principles that will guide you to living a more fulfilling life. Like most self-help books, most of the information in the book focuses on self-limiting beliefs and how to overcome them. each chapter ends with a summary on applying practical tips.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People- Stephen Covey

The late Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was first published in 1989. Although considered a business and self-help book, it provides a proactive framework on positive change. Sections include:

  1. Paradigms and Principles
  2. Private Victory
  3. Public Victory
  4. Renewal

Think and Grow Rich- Napoleon Hill

A classic and landmark best-seller, Think and Grow Rich s considered the all time best-seller in the self-help industry. The overall goal of the book is to help people overcome self-limiting beliefs. Although the book focuses on success and making money, it is also helpful for those seeking ways to improve their overall well-being.

How to Win Friends and Influence People- Dale Carnegie

Another great classic, Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence people is simply a great book on learning how to effective communicate with other people.

Self-Care 12 Week Challenge (Week 6)

Week 6 Challenge- Drinking Water

Benefits of Drinking Water

  • Prevents constipation
  • Reduces risk of cancer
  • Prevent joint pains and arthritis
  • Helps in losing weight
  • Protects your heart
  • helps flush out toxins
  • Helps the body absorb nutrients
  • Lubricates skin and tissues
  • Reduces water retention

Articles on the benefits of drinking water:

6 reasons to drink water

7 science-based health benefits of drinking

10 Reasons why you should drink more water

12 unexpected reasons to drink more water

34 proven ways water makes you awesome

General Water Articles

Hydration Calculator

The amount of water you actually need to per day

Water: How much should you drink every day?

March- Organization of the Month

The Greater Richmond ARC        arc-richmond

Who are they?

The Greater Richmond ARC is a non-profit organization founded in 1954 by Richmond area families. The organization provides programs and services to children and adults with developmental disabilities across the lifespan with the mission of helping each person achieve their potential.

How they do it:

The Greater Richmond ARC provides the following developmental services:

  • Support Services
  • Day support and afterschool services
  • Employment development services
  • Prevocational services


3600 Sanders Avenue
Richmond, VA 23227

March Upcoming Events

March 5, 2016

Visions of Community
Federation for Children with Special Needs
Seaport World Trade Center, Boston
For More Information:

March 11, 2016

Transporting Students with Disabilities and Preschoolers
Conference and Trade Show
Galt House Hotel
Louisville, KY
For More Information:

March 18, 2016

2016 Statewide Disabilities Conference
Asians and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California (ARIDC)
Westin Pasadena Hotel
For More Information: Statewide Disabilities Conference