Essentials of Intellectual Disability Assessment and Identification
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More About This Title Essentials of Intellectual Disability Assessment and Identification


Brue’s Essentials Intellectual Disabilityis a concise, up-to-date overview of intellectual disability evaluation and assessment. This text offers a practical, concise overview of the nature of intellectual disability and adaptive skills functioning in children, adolescents, and adults. Coverage includes the latest information on prevalence, causes, differential diagnoses, behavioral and social concerns, test instruments, and the new DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. The discussion promotes a deeper understanding of the use of assessment data to inform interventions in clinical practice.

Designed for easy navigation, each chapter highlights important points and key cautions to allow quick reference without sacrificing depth. A sample assessment report illustrates how findings should be communicated to better inform treatment, giving you a practical reference to ensure comprehensive reporting. In 2013, the DSM-5 conceptualization of intellectual disabilities was significantly changed. It's important for professionals to have access to the most current guidelines from a variety of sources, and this book compiles them all into a single reference.


ALAN W. BRUE, PHD, is a nationally certified school psychologist. He provides a wide range of school psychological services to metro-Atlanta school districts.

LINDA WILMSHURST, PHD, is an associate professor of psychology at Elon University and a licensed clinical (ABPP) and school psychologist. She authored six books, including Essentials of Child Psychopathology and Clinical and Educational Child Psychology.

Alan and Linda co-authored A Parent's Guide to Special Education and The Complete Guide to Special Education.


Series Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xv

One History of Intellectual Disability 1

Early Beginnings 1

The Turn of the Century: 1900 to 1950 4

The Age of Assessment: Late 1950s to 1970 6

1980s to the Present 8

Summary 14

Test Yourself 15

Two Prevalence, Causes, Issues, and Comorbid Disorders 17

Etiology of Intellectual Disabilities: Subtypes 17

Differential Diagnoses 27

Comorbidity 27

Test Yourself 28

Three Current Intellectual Disability Diagnostic and Federal Education Criteria 30

The DSM–5 30

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 34

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 37

Differential Diagnoses and Comorbid Conditions 44

Specific Learning Disabilities 46

Test Yourself 46

Four Legal Issues and Concerns 49

Education and the Law: Issues and Concerns 49

Test Yourself 60

Five Theories of Intelligence and the Flynn Effect 63

Spearman’s Two-Factor Theory 63

Thurstone’s Primary Mental Abilities 64

Cattell-Horn-Carroll Theory 64

TriarchicTheory of Intelligence 66

Planning, Attention-Arousal, Simultaneous, and Successive Theory of Intelligence 66

Theory of Multiple Intelligences 67

Flynn Effect 68

Intellectual Disability and Capital Punishment Cases 70

Test Yourself 72

Six Assessment of an Intellectual Disability 74

Designing a Test Battery 76

Areas to Assess 78

Test Yourself 91

Seven Integration of Assessment Results 93

Report Sample #1 93

Report Sample #2 100

Test Yourself 108

Eight Postassessment Planning 110

Common Parent Reactions to Learning a Child has a Disability 111

Guidelines for Parents of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities 112

Transition Planning 113

Self-Determination and Individuals with Developmental Disabilities 115

Application of Self-Determination Practices 117

Results ofThe Arc Survey: FINDS 2011 120

Test Yourself 122

Appendix A State Departments of Special Education 124

Appendix B AAIDD and The Arc Position Statement on the Criminal Justice System 133

Appendix C American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) 138

Appendix D The Arc Position Statement on Self-Determination 140

Appendix E AAIDD andThe Arc Position Statement on Self-Advocacy 142

Appendix F The Arc Position Statement on Education 146

Appendix G The Arc Position Statement on Employment 149

Appendix H Helpful Websites 153

References 157

About the Authors 166

Index 169