Intellectual disability (ID) is a diagnosis given when an individual has problems both in intellectual functioning and the ability to function in everyday activities. An individual with ID may have problems with speaking, reading, eating, taking care of themselves, or interacting appropriately with others. In the past, we used to use the term "mental retardation," but we no longer use that term.
Intellectual disability is usually diagnosed before the age of 18. The term intellectual disability covers the same population of individuals who were diagnosed previously with mental retardation in number, kind, level, type and duration of disability.
While intellectual disability is the preferred term, it takes time for language that is used in legislation, regulation, and even for the names of organisations, to change.
Most children with intellectual disabilities can learn a great deal and as adults may have partially or even fully independent lives. Individuals with intellectual disabilities may also have different physical problems such as seizures, seeing, hearing, or speaking.