Intellectual disability means significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently [at the same time] with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

Links to Your Life

A person with an intellectual disability has limitations in mental functioning that make it harder for them to communicate, take care of themselves or develop social skills. They learn more slowly and may take longer to learn to speak, walk, and master personal needs such as dressing or eating. They may have trouble learning in school.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities: Intellectual Disability


American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)

The goal of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is to achieve full societal inclusion and participation of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to enhance the capacity of professionals who work with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  AAIDD’s site offers information on political action and polices, guidance for careers in the field of disabilities as well as technical aid to caregivers and students.

Arc of Maryland

The Arc is the largest statewide advocacy organization assisting persons with intellectual and development in the state of Maryland. The site offers information about the Arc’s support programs as well as the latest updates on its public policy program.

Association for Children with Down Syndrome (ACDS)

The Association for Children with Down Syndrome is the nation’s largest service providers for children with Down Syndrome. ACDS’s site offers information about ACDS and its site-based services including: Parent/Peer Outreach Program, the Community and Family Service Program, the Early Intervention Program, and the home-based ABA program plus many others.

Best Buddies International

Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their site includes ways to get involved and support Best Buddies.

National Association for Down Syndrome (NADS)

The mission of the National Association for Down Syndrome is to ensure that all persons with Down Syndrome have the opportunity to achieve their potential in all aspects of community life. On this site you will find first person accounts of children with Down Syndrome, photo galleries of events, discussion forums and other relevant information.

National Down Syndrome Society

The National Down Syndrome Society is an advocacy group whose goal is to foster a world in which all people with Down Syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations, and become valued members of welcoming communities. Their site includes stories, videos, and healthcare material as well as informational on all aspects of life with Down Syndrome.

Special Olympics Maryland (SOMD)

The Special Olympics site provides everything you need to know about the Maryland branch of the Special Olympics. The mission of SOMD is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competitions in a variety of Olympic-type sports for persons eight years of age and older with intellectual disabilities.