Intellectual Disabilities Children with intellectual disabilities learn slower than atypical children.  They may learn to sit up, crawl, walk or even talk later.  Children and adults with intellectual disabilities may also display the following characteristics: Inadequacy in memory skills Difficulty in learning social skills Delays in oral language development Difficulty in solving problems Delays in self-care or self help skills Absence in social inhibitors Children with these characteristics will take longer to learn how to feed themselves, dress themselves, and perform personal cleanliness skills.  Learning for them will take more repetition and patience.  All of their delays appear to be behavioral.  You can't identify them by appearance. Among the children up to half of the causes are unknown.  However, the three most common causes are Downs Syndrome,  fetal alcohol syndrome and velocariofacial syndrome, a genetic condition characterized by abnormal pharyngeal arch development that results in defective development of the parathyroid glands.  Other common causes are: Malnutrition Problems at birth such as a lack of oxygen Problems during pregnancy such as the fetus not developing normally, the cells not dividing correctly or the mother consuming alcohol or drugs Genetic conditions Exposure to certain diseases, illnesses, or toxins Iodine deficiency There are three criteria that must be met to diagnosis intellectual disabilities, an IQ less than 70, limitations in two or more adaptive behaviors (skills needed to lead an independent lifestyle) and identifying those limitations prior to the age of 18. In addition to social difficulties the child with intellectual disabilities share many of the same social skills as children with learning disabilities.  These disabilities include the inability to read social cues, understand humor or sarcasm, interact successfully in a conversation, low social status and negative self-concept. In a high school, where the author resides, they have adapted a mentor program where atypical students become friends with those who display abnormalities.  This program has proved to be highly successful and it has changed the way the students see and think of themselves.  Most atypical students claim that they started with helping another in mind but conclude that they themselves have had their lives changed. In summary, some children and adults displaying intellectual disabilities can survive and even sometimes thrive in societies if they are given a helping hand.  Early detection and repetition can help in their growing process.  Compassion and a friendly hand up can also play a key part to their developing life skills.