CDC study identifies prevalence of intellectual disabilities

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported new estimates of the number of American children with intellectual disability (ID). In a study looking at 8-year-olds in several communities across the U.S., researchers found that 1.2% had IQ scores of 70 or below qualifying them for an ID diagnosis.

The findings published late last year in the Disability Health Journal are based on data collected through the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, which regularly reviews health and educational records for 8-year-olds in selected communities. The CDC uses the same methods to determine its autism prevalence estimates, which are generally updated every two years.

Researchers looked at records for over 215,000 children in nine states in 2014, identifying children as having ID if they had an IQ score of 70 or less or if there was a written statement from a qualified professional indicating that the child’s intellectual functioning fell within that range.