Intellectual disability simply means deficits in learning that begin from childhood. These deficits may include Intellectual functions, such as reasoning, problem-solving, planning, abstract thinking, judgments, academic learning, and learning from experience. It also includes adaptive functioning in activities of daily life such as communication, social participation, and independent living.

There are other conditions that can occur with intellectual disability and it ranges from the autism spectrum, disorders, epilepsy, or cerebral palsy. But for now, I will want to focus on intellectual disability that are not related to the aforementioned.

What you should know is that intellectual disability is not a disease, it is not static or unchanging. It is a condition and its expression can change with therapies and supports so your parenting journey holds more gifts than you can possible imagine when you have such a gift in your home.

The first time a parent is called his/her child’s school or gets a diagnosis the response is very similar from person to person and they include fear, confusion, and anger mixed and sometimes hope, pride, and love though some parents especially in the western world feel a relief that they have finally found what the challenge is and somewhat the solution. There is no quick fix to Intellectual Disorder. It will be a lifelong struggle, but like all parents, you have a lifetime to equip your child with the skills and knowledge they will need to live on their own and thrive.


Our dreams for our children may alter but I can assure you that they can and will achieve more than we may have hoped possible. It begins with love growing into experiences and accountability.  Know that you can you can give them wings in each experience and opportunity. I want to encourage you to savor the moments as your child’s life unfolds before your eyes.


  1. Keep things in perspective. A learning disability is surmountable.
  2. Become your own expert
  3. Be an advocate for your child.
  4. Remember your influence outweighs all other.
  5. Clarify your goals
  6. Be a good listener
  7. Offer new solutions
  8. Keep the focus
  9. Seek help from experts
  10. Making learning participatory.


Forget About What Others Say

Stigma may contribute to poor psychological health by increasing psychological distress and reducing the quality of life. Do not let the stigma keep you or your child down. Ensure that your child is able to fully integrate with their communities. Support your child, listen to them, be affectionate and empower them.

Be Actively Involved

Family members should participate in decisions about services and not be afraid to speak up and advocate for the child or adult with ID. The more families become actively involved, the less helpless they feel. With parent involvement in their children’s care, their children are less likely to require institutionalization and more likely to enjoy a higher quality of life.

Ask for Help

Do not be afraid to seek help and support from family members. Some parents feel ashamed to ask for help as they fear rejection or people may not understand the situation. You would be surprised just how helpful people are once you ask. A positive family support network allows parents to have someone they can turn to and rely upon. A local parent/support group, society or NGO in the area can also be a source of support and strength in lobbying for services.

Start Treatment Early

Early intervention helps to maximize the child’s potential as early experiences play a critical role in brain development. It is also strengthened by stable relationships with caring and responsive adults, safe and supportive environments, and appropriate nutrition.

Like any other child, children with ID develop and learn at different rates and ways. What is important is for you to continue to be patient and be affectionately supportive, as well as work hard to help your child hone his adaptive capabilities so that he may reach his full potential in life. With your help and that of those around you, your child can live a happy and fulfilling life.

Finally; take courage and fight for that child because every child has a purpose for which they are born and whether they find and live out that purpose is totally dependent on their parent.

Article by Juliet Keshinro (Mrs.)

Juliet Keshinro is the head of Corporate Department at S-TEE Schools, Festac Town.

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