What characterizes intellectual disability?
Intellectual disability is characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behaviour as expressed in conceptual, social and practical adaptive skills. This disability originates before the age of 18 (AAMR, 2002).
Intellectual disability is not just a limitation on the intellectual level or on adaptive skills; it is a combination of the two, originating during the period of development which, in the physical, social and cultural environment in which the individual lives, represents a major limitation on their functioning. Disability is, then, an expression of the limitations on individual functioning in a social context that represents a substantial disadvantage to the individual (AAMR, 2002, 15).