Health and Social Policies for Australian Men and Boys with Intellectual and Developmental Disability: A Health and Wellbeing Double Jeopardy?

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Nathan Wilson
Andy Smidt
Matilda Tehan


Health, Social Policy, Australia, intellectual disability, adaptive behaviour


Intellectual disability is characterized by a combination of limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviour originating during the developmental period, before the age of 18.1 Intellectual functioning refers to an individual’s capacity to learn, problem solve and reason; adaptive behaviour refers to the conceptual (e.g., language, money, time), social (e.g., interpersonal skills, social responsibility, ability to follow rules), and practical (e.g., personal care, travel, use of telephone) skills. Developmental disability is a term used to describe lifelong physical and/or cognitive disabilities and includes, but is not limited to, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; in the USA) and fetal alcohol syndrome.2 As intellectual and developmental disabilities often co-occur, most health, educational and social professionals work with people who have both.



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