Child Assessment & Testing - Intellectual Disability

Child Assessment & Testing - Intellectual Disability

Intellectual disability is a lifelong condition, characterised by significantly below average intellectual ability and adaptive skills. It is NOT a mental illness and should not be confused with developmental delay . With appropriate assistance, children and adults with intellectual disability can learn new information and lead a fulfilling life. The key factors are early identification and long term planning, which can be aided through clinical/diagnostic assessments.


The most important part of the diagnostic process when a child is suspected to suffer from intellectual disability is the evaluation of his/her intellectual level. At CPAC we provide intellectual ability assessments that are aimed at identifying severe difficulties. At the same time we aim to highlight a child's intellectual strengths (e.g., non-verbal abilities) and work together with parents and other agencies to provide the best long term plan for each individual child. See one of our child psychologists in Sydney to get started today.


Children with intellectual disability show difficulties with thinking, learning, communication (both verbal and non-verbal), memory, problem solving, judgment and social functioning. Intellectual disability is diagnosed if a child's intellectual ability (IQ) is notably below average and shows severe limitations in at least two areas of adaptive functioning.

Significantly below average intellectual ability refers to an IQ score of 70 or less as measured by standardised tests. An IQ score of 70 is two standard deviation (1 standard deviation = 15 IQ points) below the mean, occurring in approximately 2% of all children.

Limitations in adaptive functioning refer to skills necessary for everyday living, such as communication, self care, memory, social skills, problem solving and work/study skills.

Some children develop slower than others and may show a delay in one or more developmental areas. This is not intellectual disability and children with delay in one or more areas of functioning can still achieve their required milestones, even if at a later stage.

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