The Global Impact of Intellectual Disability and Other Mental Disorders in Children

by James G. Linn, PhD, Jorge Chuaqui, PhD, Debra R. Wilson, PhD, and Emanuel Arredondo, MA

Abstract: Intellectual disabilities and other mental disorders in children are serious health problems and occur in all countries. They result in profound challenges for learning and adaptive behavior and generally require professional services and treatment. Outcomes depend upon access to highly trained professionals and often costly medications. Interactions with the culture of disability in the community and nation are very important for independence and self-fulfillment. Normative and legal barriers can push children with these disabilities to the margins of society and waste their potential. Case examples are given from low-, middle- and highincome countries. Recommendations are made based upon recent World Health Organization Action Plans on Disability.

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