Intellectual Disability

Boost your child’s intellectual functioning with the right early intervention support.

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Unlocking potential: understand intellectual disabilities and build new skills

Intellectual disability that develops at an early age can have a significant impact on your child.

It can affect overall intellectual functioning, problem solving abilities, social skills, communication skills and more – which can then significantly impact on their quality of life.

It can also present alongside other mental disorders or genetic disorders like autism spectrum disorder, Fragile X Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy.

That’s where early intervention comes in. Getting additional support at an early age helps children build new skills and adjust to daily living challenges.

Our therapists work closely with families, educators and support workers to provide therapeutic support for young children with intellectual disabilities.

If you’re worried about potential developmental delays, book your child in for an assessment.

Our psychologists can conduct IQ and adaptive behaviour assessments and help collate supporting information for a consulting paediatrician or psychiatrist to make a diagnosis.


Early intervention therapies to support intellectual disability

Essential support to help your child build new skills and achieve developmental goals.

Occupational therapy

Our therapists help your child develop the skills and confidence they need for day-to-day life.

Speech therapy

We look at your child’s speech, language, and communication skills for better academic, social, and emotional outcomes.

Applied behaviour analysis

We use positive reinforcement to teach new skills and develop behaviour in a structured way. We also address learning disabilities that present alongside intellectual disability.

Physical therapy

We help your child improve their physical abilities and movement skills through exercises and engaging activities.

Positive behaviour therapy

We help your child to develop encouraged behaviours and new skills through play and relationship-building models.


Our psychologists help your child understand and manage their thoughts, emotions, and behaviour amidst challenges from intellectual disability. Assist with strategies to navigate weaknesses and use relative strengths, assist with learning difficulties and review supports.

Social work and counselling

Our social workers and counsellors help your child and family build strategies to overcome disability challenges and connect with additional support and advocacy.

Support for intellectual disability with ESA

 Help your child navigate daily living with personalised multi-disciplinary support

Our team provides comprehensive support to help your child overcome the challenges of intellectual disabilities, with a range of therapies tailored to their unique needs.

We work together to build new skills, enhance their quality of life, and foster strong family connections.


Find a clinic near you

We have clinics in every state and territory providing assessments, early childhood intervention therapies, and support to help you thrive.

Find a clinic

Frequently asked questions

Intellectual disability is a condition that affects a person’s ability to learn and develop skills at the same pace as others. It presents itself in varying degrees of severity.

Mild intellectual disability creates some limitations in intellectual functioning and ability to adapt responses to everyday life. People usually display an IQ score ranging from 50 to 70.

Severe intellectual disability significantly impairs intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviour. It affects an individual’s ability to learn, communicate, and perform daily activities. People with severe intellectual disabilities typically have an IQ score below 40 and require significant additional support for daily living.

Intellectual disability can be caused by a variety of factors such as genetic conditions or genetic disorders, brain damage, infections, other developmental disabilities or developmental delay, and environmental factors.

Intellectual disability research is still ongoing around the world, and we learn new information about the condition every day. There are more and more treatment options being developed, allowing individuals with intellectual disability better outcomes in life.

Intellectual disabilities are diagnosed through a combination of standardised IQ tests, developmental assessments, and evaluation of a person’s adaptive functioning skills.

The Early Start Australia promise

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Holistic care and treatment plans

Our multi-disciplinary team works together with you to understand your child’s needs. From there, we’ll develop a plan with evidence-based strategies. Work with us to achieve your goals and enjoy a better quality of life.

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Australia-wide reach

With clinics in every state and territory, and an experienced team of therapists. Find help when you need it, where you need it.

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Registered NDIS provider

We are a registered NDIS provider and are here to help you on your NDIS journey. We provide quality and safe services, follow NDIS requirements, and support your needs and goals.

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Early intervention at all stages

Early intervention is not just for young children. We offer therapies that cater to all ages, needs and abilities, and we know the sooner you start your therapy journey, the better your outcomes. With us, you can learn new skills and enjoy more freedom and control in your life.