Nature of intellectual disability

Lynne Marsh*, Paul McAleer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter presents an overview to the prevalence and causes of intellectual disabilities and highlights some of the more common prenatal, perinatal, postnatal and genetic causes of intellectual disabilities. Whilst they are many causes and risk factors associated with an intellectual disability, for the most part, the prevention of an intellectual disability is not possible as there may be no known aetiology. This however does not prevent a discussion of some of the preventative measures that can be exercised to reduce some of the modifiable risk factors that can be embedded into practice, education and health promotion strategies. An introduction to best practice guidance for sharing a disclosure of an intellectual disability will be provided, as supporting families beyond the initial disclosure of an intellectual disability diagnosis is key to building a trusting relationship along the professional journey.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntellectual disabilities: health and social care across the lifespan
EditorsFintan Sheerin, Carmel Doyle
PublisherSpringer Cham
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783031274961
ISBN (Print)9783031274954
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • General Social Sciences


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