Intellectual Disability in Children and Adolescents

What is ID?

The diagnosis that mental health professionals refer to as intellectual disability (ID) should not be confused with learning disability.  ID is not a disease nor a condition per se, but it is the result of how a condition affects the child’s development. Children with ID show deficiencies in their development and the symptoms start showing when they are very young.  These children have significant, often profound, cognitive or intellectual problems, and have difficulty with activities of daily life.

Unfortunately, most psychiatrists are not well trained in the precise diagnosis and management of ID, therefore, children who have ID must be treated by a mental health provider with the proper training an experience, such as a psychiatrist specializing in the care of children and adolescents.

What causes ID?

The causes of ID are many, and here are some examples. These are not single causes, but rather groups of possible causes, in order from most common to least common:

  • Pregnant mother exposed to drugs or toxins (alcohol and others)
  • Fetal malnutrition, lack of oxygen during pregnancy, or born prematurely
  • Infection in a pregnant mother
  • Genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome or Phenylketonuria, both of which may or may not be passed on by the parents
  • Infections in the brain 
  • Lead exposure, both in a pregnant mother or in the child after birth

How is ID diagnosed?

ID can present in so many ways, and from so many causes, that the diagnosis requires an adequately trained specialist with experience in its recognition, proper assessment and appropriate treatment. With her vast experience and the many tools at her disposal, plus a combination of special and genetic lab tests, Dr. Sanchez-Jaquez is able to accurately assess her patients and determine the best course of treatment.

NovoTelehealth is composed of qualified healthcare providers who, besides being equipped to diagnose and recommend the most effective therapies, are a caring and compassionate group of people who will do a thorough evaluation of your child’s mental and physical health and will formulate a comprehensive, holistic treatment tailored to their individual needs.  

Treatment options for ID

The main forms of treatment for children with ID are psychosocial techniques focused on different kinds of behavioral interventions.  Many patients respond to these interventions and medication is not routinely recommended for the treatment of the ID itself.  However, there are some children who may show symptoms of other conditions for which medication may be warranted.  Your integrative team at Novo goes above and beyond to not only address your child’s ID , but also support their health in the most effective, comprehensive and holistic way. Some treatment options include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Psychotherapy
  • Behavior modification
  • Medication
  • Naturopathic medicine
  • Diet modification
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Mindfulness techniques

To know more about ID and how NovoTelehealth can support you and your family in living a happier, healthier life, book an appointment with us online or at one of our locations.

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