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Cognitive Deficits (cont.)

Outlook for Cognitive Deficits

The prognosis or outlook for a child with cognitive disabilities is highly individual and is influenced by a variety of psychological, medical, environmental, and cultural factors.

Intellectual disability is not necessarily a life-long disorder. Some children with cognitive disabilities revealed by academic difficulties may, with appropriate services and interventions, develop adequate adaptive skills in other areas of functioning and no longer demonstrate the level of impairment required for a diagnosis of intellectual disability when they are an adult.

The public continues to gain a greater awareness about cognitive disabilities and those affected by them. In 2005, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was reauthorized by Congress.

Parents of children with cognitive deficits are often strong advocates for their children.

Support Groups and Counseling

Parenting a child with a cognitive deficit can be emotionally challenging. The time of diagnosis, as well as transitional times, such as beginning school and graduating from high school, can be particularly difficult.

Support groups, such as Families Together, can be useful. Families Together also refers to an in-home social work program and an informational and training program. "The program provides training and information to enable individuals with disabilities, and their parents, family members, guardians, advocates, or other authorized representatives, to participate more effectively in meeting their vocational, independent living, and rehabilitation needs." Contact information may be obtained from each state's department of education or from the Web site.

Respite care is also important so that parents can spend time away from their child and recuperate. Good respite care allows parents to feel confident that their child is being cared for appropriately in their absence.

For More Information on Cognitive Deficits

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities, IDEA

National Mental Health Association

US Department of Education, Parent Information and Training Programs

The Arc, Supports/Services

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mental Retardation

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Mental Retardation Fact Sheet

Medically reviewed by Jon Glass, MD; American board of Psychiatry and Neurology


"Mild cognitive impairment: Epidemiology, pathology, and clinical assessment"

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/9/2015
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Cognitive deficits in children range from profound mental retardation with minimal functioning to mild impairment in specific operations.

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