An intellectual disability, or mental retardation, affect a person’s cognitive abilities as well as functionality in social environments. Troubles communicating, imaginative play, and other crucial skills, such as reading or learning social rules, are prevalent. Intellectual disabilities vary severely, and can leave an individual high functioning or extremely impaired.

Common Symptoms of Intellectual Disability

• difficulties acquiring speech or language skills
• impaired motor skills
• difficulties with self-care
• little academic development
• developmental delays, such as walking
• requires frequent supervision


Intellectual disability could be caused genetically, such as a chromosomal disorder. It can also be caused by issues with pregnancy, such as the ingestion of copious amounts of alcohol while pregnant. Sometimes, an intellectual disability is caused by an accident or brain injury. Other times, a cause cannot be determined.


Treatment for intellectual disability models use of language, appropriate behaviors, and communication. Therapy emphasizes positive social behavior and encourages motivation and environmental interaction. When a person has trouble communicating, usually behaviors are used instead of words. A therapist can help with a client’s academic development and cultivate appropriate behaviors. Therapy can also involve family counseling, providing support for family dynamic.

We Can Help

Open Path’s therapists offer beneficial services that encourage insight, self-reflection, and healthy coping mechanisms. Our therapists reinforce positive emotions, helping to nurture and develop social skills and cultivate self-esteem.

Interested in seeing one of our therapists for an affordable rate? Start your search here.