17.2  A child who develops slowly

In the previous section you learned about the typical developmental milestones. When there is significant delay in achieving these milestones, you should think about the possibility of intellectual disability (ID), formerly referred to as mental retardation. ID is characterised by a delay in the intellectual development of a child compared with children of the same age. ID impairs the ability of a child to carry out expected day-to-day activities adequately. Children with ID may, for instance, have difficulty in the following areas:

  • Simple skills such as getting dressed, feeding oneself, and washing
  • Skills to communicate or engage with others (being able to understand what others say and to be able to answer back)
  • Certain social skills to get along with friends and family members.

17.1  When children develop normally

17.2.1  What causes intellectual disability?