Intellectual disability

generalized neurodevelopmental disorder

Intellectual disability (ID), also known as general learning disability in the United Kingdom and formerly mental retardation, is a generalised neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by significantly impaired intellectual and adaptive functioning. It is defined by an IQ under 70, in addition to deficits in two or more adaptive behaviours that affect everyday, general living. Intellectual functions are defined under the DSM-5 as reasoning, problem‑solving, planning, abstract thinking, judgment, academic learning, and learning from instruction and experience, and practical understanding confirmed by both clinical assessment and standardised tests. Adaptive behaviour is defined in terms of conceptual, social, and practical skills involving tasks performed by people in their everyday lives.

What they want is fun and laughter, to do things together and fool around, and laughter is at the heart of community ~ Jean Vanier (2015)


  • There’s a tax that you incur when you use the “N” word or the “F” word, and there are groups, whether it’s the NAACP or gay groups, who will make you pay it. But if you use the “R” word, you’ve picked the most vulnerable target, because people within the intellectual disabilities population are not going to return serve. They aren’t genetically designed to confront you the way other groups do.
  • I really hate any functioning labels whatsoever, because they do not represent individuals. High functioning just means without an intellectual disability. There is nothing more to it. If you want to talk about yourself or your child and your strengths and weaknesses, you focus on your strengths and weaknesses because that is going to tell the person more about you than the words ‘high’ or ‘low’ functioning. So I encourage every school and everybody I meet to not use that, because it does not give you any information. Does ‘high’ or ‘low’ tell you how to help the child or the adult? No, it does not.
    • Stacey Smith, Inquiry into services for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder Final Report Family and Community Development Committee, Parliament of Victoria June 22, 2017
  • The great thing about people with intellectual disabilities is that they’re not people who discuss philosophy... What they want is fun and laughter, to do things together and fool around, and laughter is at the heart of community.

Roget’s International Thesaurus

Quotes reported in: C. O. S. Mawson, ed., Roget’s International Thesaurus (1922)
  • Les fous font les festins et les sages les mangent.
  • Nomina stultorum parietibus hærent.
    • Proverbial
  • Stultorum plena sunt omnia.
  • A fool and his money are soon parted.
    • Proverbial
  • Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.
  • Cruel children, crying babies
    All grow up as geese and gabies,
    Hated, as their age increases
    By their nephews and their nieces.
  • You may lead an ass to knowledge, but you cannot make him think.
    • Cynic’s Calendar

Historical views

Three generations of imbeciles are enough ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1927)
  • It is better for all the world if, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. ... Three generations of imbeciles are enough.
  • Pete: Whatsamatter?
    McGraw: [sighs] Awww, it's just been a shitass day. Every inch of it hot and miserable. First off, Nadine at the Blue Chip got some sorta sick, so that Mongoloid boy of hers was workin' the grill. That fuckin' idiot don't know rat shit from Rice Krispies. I ate breakfast at nine, was pukin' up pigs in a blanket like a sick dog by ten thirty.
    Pete: Isn't there a law or something against retards serving food to the public?
    McGraw: Well, if there ain't there sure oughta be. Who knows what goes on inside Mongoloid's mind?
    Pete: You could sue the shit out of her, ya know. That kid belongs under a circus tent, not flippin' burgers. You could own that fuckin' place.
    McGraw: What the hell would I do with that grease pit? Besides, Nadine's got enough of a cross to bear just taking care of that potato head.

See also

Wikipedia has an article about: