Frequently asked questions

What is an intellectual disability?

What is a pervasive developmental disorder?

What are habilitation and rehabilitation services?

How can I contact WMRC?

How can I receive services from WMRC? 

 

What is an intellectual disability?

Intellectual disability is a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills. This disability originates before the age of 18. 

Intellectual functioning—also called intelligence—refers to general mental capacity, such as learning, reasoning, problem solving, and so on.

One criterion to measure intellectual functioning is an IQ test.  Generally, an IQ test score of around 70 or as high as 75 indicates a limitation in intellectual functioning.

Standardized tests can also determine limitations in adaptive behavior, which comprises three skill types:

  • Conceptual skills—language and literacy; money, time, and number concepts; and self-direction.
  • Social skills—interpersonal skills, social responsibility, self-esteem, gullibility, naïveté (i.e., wariness), social problem solving, and the ability to follow rules/obey laws and to avoid being victimized.
  • Practical skills—activities of daily living (personal care), occupational skills, healthcare, travel/transportation, schedules/routines, safety, use of money, use of the telephone.

On the basis of such many-sided evaluations, professionals can determine whether an individual has an intellectual disability and can tailor a support plan for each individual.

But in defining and assessing intellectual disability, the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) stresses that professionals must take additional factors into account, such as the community environment typical of the individual’s peers and culture. Professionals should also consider linguistic diversity and cultural differences in the way people communicate, move, and behave.

Finally, assessments must also assume that limitations in individuals often coexist with strengths, and that a person’s level of life functioning will improve if appropriate personalized supports are provided over a sustained period.

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 2009.

What is a pervasive developmental disorder?

Also known as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) are a group of conditions originating in childhood that involve serious impairment in several areas, including physical, behavioral, cognitive, social and language development. Autistic Disorder

  1. A total of six (or more) items from (1), (2), and (3), with at least two from (1), and one each from (2) and (3):
    1. qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
      • marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors, such as eye-to- eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction
      • failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
      • a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest)
      • lack of social or emotional reciprocity
    2. qualitative impairments in communication, as manifested by at least one of the following:
      • delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gesture or mime)
      • in individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
      • stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language
      • lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level
    3. restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities as manifested by at least one of the following:
      • encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
      • apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
      • stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting or complex whole-body movements)
      • persistent precoccupation with parts of objects
  2. Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years: (1) social interaction, (2) language as used in social communication, or (3) symbolic or imaginative play.
  3. The disturbance is not better accounted for by Rett’s disorder or childhood disintegrative disorder.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (NOS)

This category should be used when there is a severe and pervasive impairment in the development of reciprocal social interaction or verbal and nonverbal communication skills, or when stereotyped behavior, interests, and activities are present, but the criteria are not met for a specific pervasive developmental disorder, schizophrenia, schizotypal personality disorder, or avoidant personality disorder. For example, this category includes “atypical autism” –presentations that do not meet the criteria for autistic disorder because of late age of onset, atypical symptomatology, or subthreshold symptomatology, or all of these.

Asperger’s Disorder

  1. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
    • marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors, such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction
    • failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
    • a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
    • lack of social or emotional reciprocity
  2. Restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
    • encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
    • apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
    • stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
    • persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
  3. The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
  4. There is no clinically significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years).
  5. There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood.
  6. Criteria are not met for another specific pervasive developmental disorder or schizophrenia.

Rett’s Disorder

  1. All of the following:
    • apparently normal prenatal and perinatal development
    • apparently normal psychomotor development through the first 5 months after birth
    • normal head circumference at birth
  2. Onset of all of the following after the period of normal development:
    • deceleration of head growth between ages 5 and 48 months
    • loss of previously acquired purposeful hand skills between ages 5 and 30 months with the subsequent development of stereotyped hand movements (i.e., hand-wringing or hand washing)
    • loss of social engagement early in the course (although often social interaction develops later)
    • appearance of poorly coordinated gait or trunk movements
    • severely impaired expressive and receptive language development with severe psychomotor retardation

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

  1. Apparently normal development for at least the first 2 years after birth as manifested by the presence of age-appropriate verbal and nonverbal communication, social relationships, play, and adaptive behavior.
  2. Clinically significant loss of previously acquired skills (before age 10 years) in at least two of the following areas:
    • expressive or receptive language
    • social skills or adaptive behavior
    • bowel or bladder control
    • play
    • motor skills
  3. Abnormalities of functioning in at least two of the following areas:
    • qualitative impairement in social interaction (e.g., impairment in nonverbal behaviors, failure to develop peer relationships, lack of social or emotional reciprocity)
    • qualitative impairments in communication (e.g., delay or lack of spoken language, inability to initiate or sustain a conversation, stereotyped and repetitive use of language, lack of varied make-believe play)
    • restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, including motor stereotypies and mannerisms
       
  4. The disturbance is not better accounted for by another specific pervasive developmental disorder or by schizophrenia.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th Edition, ©1994, American Psychiatric Association

What are habilitation and rehabilitation services?

According to the CRDITED Service Offer, habilitation and rehabilitation services are designed to reduce the impact of a disability, to enable the person’s integration and social participation.
 
They include the following:

  • Establishing a functional evaluation of the person’s lifestyle habits;
  • Providing access to assessments by various professionals (psychologist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, sexologist, psycho-educator, etc., depending on the person’s specific needs);
  • Identifying the person’s significant functioning difficulties in relation to his/her personal project;
  • Introducing interventions designed to reduce these difficulties;
  • Drawing up an intervention plan, including an intervention agreement and service timeframe, according to the person’s personal project;
  • Reviewing the intervention plan.

 How can I contact WMRC?

Our contact information is on our homepage.

 How can I receive services from WMRC?

Click here to find out more.