• Intellectual Disability

Intellectual Disability
  • Intellectual Disability is characterized by significantly sub average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The terms “mental retardation” or “mental disability” are sometimes used as substitutes for the term “intellectual disability” and shall be considered equivalent terms for purposes of these regulations.

    Multiple disabilities are concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness or mental retardation-orthopedic impairment), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. Multiple disabilities does not include deaf-blindness.

  • Eligibility *

    The current eligibility criteria for Intellectual Disability under state law is found in Title 14 Education Delaware Administrative Code Section 925.  If a student is found to have a disability, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team must also determine the need for special education and related services (6.0 Determination of Eligibility).

    According to the Delaware Administrative Code, in order for the IEP team to determine eligibility for special education services under the Intellectual Disability category, a level of intellectual functioning, as indicated below is required:

    • Mild Intellectual Disability: IQ 50 to 70 +/to 5 points;
    • Moderate Intellectual Disability: IQ 35 to 50 +/to 5 points;
    • Severe Intellectual Disability: IQ below 35; and
    • Significant limitations in two or more areas of adaptive behavior, including communication, self care, home and school living, social and interpersonal, community use, self direction and coping, health and safety, functional academics, leisure, play and work.


    Age of Eligibility
    : The age of eligibility for children identified as under Moderate Intellectual Disability and Severe Intellectual Disability Categories shall be from the third birthday until the receipt of a regular high school diploma or the end of the school year in which the student attains the age of twenty-one (21), whichever occurs first.  Children identified as Mild Intellectual Disability shall be from the fourth birthday until the receipt of a regular high school diploma or the end of the school year in which the student attains the age of twenty-one (21), whichever occurs first.  These children may be served at age 3, as having a Developmental Delay.

    * Retrieved from Title 14 Education Delaware Administrative Code.

Last Modified on August 6, 2021