intellectual disability

noun

Definition of intellectual disability

: significant impairment in intellectual ability accompanied by deficits in skills necessary for independent daily functioning

Note: The term intellectual disability is now preferred over mental retardation especially in medical, educational, and regulatory contexts. Mental retardation is still widely used in speech and writing, though it may sometimes be considered offensive.

… Rosa's Law, which changed references in federal law from "mental retardation" to "intellectual disability" and references to a mentally retarded individual to an individual with an intellectual disability.— Victor R. Martinez

Examples of intellectual disability in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Even those without intellectual disabilities typically lag behind their peers. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Poway launches pilot program aimed at mainstreaming special ed students," 12 July 2019 Randy Smyth was there representing New Danville, a nonprofit organization in Willis that provides programs for adults with intellectual disabilities. Jane Stueckemann, Houston Chronicle, "Wine & Food Week: H-E-B Wine Walk at Market Street draws large crowd for tastings, vino," 7 June 2019 But in the end, the meeting turned into a conversation between Barr and just one civil rights leader: Frederick Misilo, president of the Arc, which advocates for people with intellectual disabilities. Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, "Barr promised to convene civil rights leaders to discuss police reform efforts. It didn’t go quite as planned.," 6 June 2019 The pair graduated high school in 2015 where their lives were changed after participating in Unified Track and Field, where people with and without intellectual disabilities compete in sports as teammates. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "What you need to know about the IPL 500 Festival Parade," 21 May 2018 All but Hacienda HealthCare are run by the state, making Hacienda HealthCare the only private intermediate level facility for people with intellectual disabilities operating in Arizona. Stephanie Innes, azcentral, "Hacienda HealthCare to lose Medicaid contract after report of maggots found on patient," 20 June 2019 Bérubé, whose worked turned to intellectual disability after his own son was diagnosed with Down syndrome, was a cultural and literary critic with a new lens through which to examine the world. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "A Setback In Flint: RaceAhead," 14 June 2019 This duplication accounts for up to three percent of ASD diagnoses and results in more severe cases: more severe motor impairments, more severe intellectual disability, and a greater magnitude of overall dysregulation of gene expression. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Autism involves a large-scale reduction in RNA editing," 21 Dec. 2018 Gigi, who has Phelan-McDermid syndrome, a chromosomal disorder that causes developmental delays and intellectual disability, now attends the private Aurora School. Washington Post, "A photo emerges and a Va. school system’s use of seclusion comes under scrutiny," 26 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intellectual disability.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of intellectual disability

1809, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for intellectual disability

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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The first known use of intellectual disability was in 1809

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More Definitions for intellectual disability

intellectual disability

noun

Medical Definition of intellectual disability

: significant impairment in cognitive functioning (as in learning, reasoning, or problem solving) accompanied by deficits in skills (as communication and self-care) necessary for independent daily functioning

Note: The term intellectual disability is now preferred over mental retardation especially in medical, educational, and regulatory contexts. Mental retardation is still widely used in speech and writing, though it may sometimes be considered offensive.

… Rosa's Law, which changed references in federal law from "mental retardation" to "intellectual disability" and references to a mentally retarded individual to an individual with an intellectual disability.— Victor R. Martinez

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