Is Autism An Intellectual Disability?: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

If you think that your child has low intelligence, logic power, and grasping capability, then there are possible chances of intellectual disability or mental retardation. 

A person with mental retardation learns new skills very slowly.

Also read: Encopresis And Autism: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

is autism an intellectual disability
Design by Freepik

Table of Contents

Is autism an intellectual disability?

These conditions are now called Autism Spectrum Disorders. Intellectual disability is a disability characterized by specific limitations in intellectual function and adaptive behavior, covering everyday social and practical aspects.

Types of intellectual disability

There are four types category of Intellectual disability:

Mild Mental Retardation

The person has an IQ range of 50 to 70. The person learns a new skill, develops good social and communication skills, and has little or no need for supervision. A person has a mindset as equal to an ordinary STD 6th student.             

Moderate Mental Retardation

The person has an IQ range of 35 to 50. The person learns new skills through extra effort. A person can do semi-skilled or unskilled work under supervision and has a mindset equal to an ordinary STD 2nd student. 

Severe Mental Retardation:

The person has an IQ range of 20 to 35. The person learns new skills very slowly. A person is dependable on others. 

Profound Mental Retardation:

The person has an IQ range of below 20—nursing care required in profound mental retardation.

Causes of intellectual disability

    Main cause of  intellectual disability:  

  • premature birth
  • Alcohol or drugs addiction during pregnancy 
  • Oxygen deprivation during delivery
  • Mercury Poisoning
  • Brain injury 
  • Mentally disturbance due to accident or death of a loved one.
  • Genetic factor-like down syndrome, cat cry syndrome.

Symptoms of intellectual disability

Symptoms include:

  • Failure to achieve developmental milestones
  • Inabilities to follow commands or direction
  • Reduced ability to learn Expressive language 
  • Psychomotor skill deficit
  • Neurologic impairment
  • A medical problem such as seizure
  • Low self-esteem, depression
  • Irritability when upset
  • Acting out behavior

Diagnosis of intellectual disability

    • History collection
    • Physical examination
    • Neurological examination
    • Mental Status Examination
    • Milestone development
    • Blood, MRI, EEG, CT scan Investigations
    • Urine Physical examination
    • Neurological examination

Treatment of intellectual disability

Behavior therapy

Family therapy

  • Helps the parents develop coping skill and deal with anger
  • Continuous Supervision 
  • Monitoring the child’s need and problem
  • Planning Program for speech, language, and self-care learning
  • counseling
  • medication, in some cases
  • Genetic counseling of parent before and during pregnancy 
  • immunization for rubella vaccine during pregnancy
  • Analysis of fetus for the genetic disorder during pregnancy

 Avoid alcohol and drugs

  • Injection gamma globulin which can prevent Rh-negative mother from developing antibodies
  • Proper nutrition of the child during the first six month 
  • Avoidance of hazards such as lead poisoning accident
  • Psychiatric treatment for emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • Provision of education, training, occupation for each disabled person.

I have also covered following posts, you must read:


When ID occurs with other serious problems, your child’s age is lower than average. However, if your child has a mild to moderate ID, they have an average life expectancy.

Support services are helpful to support an independent and accomplished live adult with ID.

Suggested read: 

Like this guide? Don’t forget to share it!

Sharing is caring ❤

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top