Intellectual disability is a term used when a person has certain limitations in mental functioning and in skills such as communicating, taking care of him or herself, and social skills. These limitations will cause a child to learn and develop more slowly than a typical child.

Children with intellectual disabilities (sometimes called cognitive disabilities or mental retardation) may take longer to learn to speak, walk, and take care of their personal needs such as dressing or eating. They are likely to have trouble learning in school. They will learn, but it will take them longer. There may be some things they cannot learn.

(Editor’s Note, February 2011: “Intellectual Disability” is a new term in IDEA. Until October 2010, the law used the term “mental retardation.”  In October 2010, Rosa’s Law was signed into law by President Obama.  Rosa’s Law changed the term to be used in future to “intellectual disability.” The definition of the term itself did not change and is what has just been shown above.)

This information is from the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY).

It’s very helpful to read more about intellectual disabilities. Following are links to additional information:

Center for Parent Information and Resources

The Center for Parent Information and Resources shares family friendly information and researched based materials on a variety of topics including intellectual disabilities.

Utah Developmental Disabilities Council (UDDC)

The UDDC’s mission is to be the state’s leading source of critical, innovative and progressive information, advocacy, leadership and collaboration to enhance the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities.

Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD)

Utah’s DSPD promotes opportunities and provides support for persons with disabilities to lead self-determined lives.  They oversee home and community-based services, supported employment services and support for people with disabilities and their families.

Family to Family Network

(801) 272-1051 or Toll-free (800) 468-1160

The Family-to-Family Network is a network of local volunteer leaders and groups that provides education and support to families who have a member with a disability. The Network’s particular area of experience is in providing supports to families who are on the waiting list or in services from the Utah Division of Services for People with Disabilities.

Utah Down Syndrome Foundation

The UDSF continues today to link families together, to share common challenges, and to educate parents and the public in understanding and appreciating the needs of individuals with Down syndrome.

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)

AAIDD promotes progressive policies, sound research, effective practices, and universal human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

MRAU of Utah

Formerly the Mental Retardation Association of Utah we now represent Mutual Respect, Advocacy and Understanding for individuals with intellectual disabilities in the State of Utah.