An intellectual disability assessment can be completed at any stage of life. At The Edinburgh Practice we carry out intellectual disability assessments for children, young people and adults. Although receiving a diagnosis may be a difficult and emotional experience it can be a positive first step and allow you to access the care and support that you need to live a fulfilling life in the future.
What is an Intellectual Disability?
Over the years terminology has changed, a learning disability and an intellectual disability are the same thing. An intellectual disability is a lifelong condition where an individual has significantly reduced ability to; understand complex or new information, learn new skills and cope independently. People with an intellectual disability have a significantly reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities, for example, organising and planning their day, managing finances, and understanding social relationships. An intellectual disability starts pre-birth or in early childhood and has a lasting impact on development. People with an intellectual disability may require more time and support to learn new information and develop new skills.
The level of support a person needs will depend on the level of their intellectual disability. An intellectual disability can be mild, moderate, severe or profound. Having an intellectual disability is different to a learning difficulty such as dyslexia, as a learning difficulty does not affect general intellectual functioning.
The Assessment Process
The first stage of the assessment will involve meeting with a Psychologist who will gather background information. It is helpful at this early stage to share any relevant information or insights from health and/or care providers who may have discussed the potential of an assessment with you/your child. The next stage will be the cognitive assessment. Our assessment team use the Wechsler intelligence scales. These can be used to provide a full cognitive profile of strengths and difficulties, including; verbal comprehension, visual spatial, fluid reasoning, working memory, processing speed, quantitative reasoning, auditory working memory, non-verbal, general ability (IQ) and cognitive proficiency.
Following this you/your child will meet with an Occupational Therapist who will use a standardised assessment tool alongside clinical interviewing to assess adaptive functioning skills. This will include assessing strengths and difficulties across a variety of activities of daily living, for example, cooking, self-care and getting dressed.
Information will also be gathered from someone who knows you well. Once all of the above information has been considered our team will meet to discuss the assessment and then arrange a feedback appointment to share the outcome of the assessment with you. At this appointment our Psychologist will share with you whether you meet DSM-5 criteria for an Intellectual Disability. A comprehensive report will be provided following the feedback session which outlines the process and outcome of the assessment.
Intellectual Disability Assessment
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