Borderline Intellectual Functioning


What is “borderline intellectual functioning”?  This is a grouping of intelligence where individuals have cognitive ability that is below average. Normally this means an IQ of 71 to 85. The problem is insufficient or not severe enough to classify as “mental retardation” which is 70 or below.

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Individuals falling into this group have a normal appearance of affect which is moderate for their age, in spite of their capacity to think abstractly being moderately limited. Reasoning shows a proclivity for real thinking. Others might describe such a person as “a little slow” or “simple”. They are normally able to do their daily activities devoid of any assistance, and this can also involve the holding down of a job that is simple.

This populace of the mentally retarded has intellectual shortages that widely vary. A few cases that are mild of intellectual deficit are often improperly classified as instances of mental retardation, but are better diagnosed as Borderline Intellectual Functioning.

Symptoms of Borderline Intellectual Functioning

This disorder is normally able to be detected by a variety of standardized tests as well as emotional, cognitive, as well as behavioral symptoms and signs. Additionally to IQs between 71 to 85, learning is slow as well as more uneven than would be expected for grade level as well as chronological age. Their grades might be poor and irregular with some failures. Behaviors might reflect:

• Poor attention

• Poor concentration

• Responds slowly

• General disorganized

• Passive or overactive

• Low frustration tolerance

• Mood swings

• Silly affect

• Dysphoria

• Fearfulness

• Anger

• Common sense that is poor

• Naivete

• Low self-esteem

Causes of Borderline Intellectual Functioning

Causes of any mental deficit include some of the following:

Genetic conditions – abnormal genes inherited from parents

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Problems during pregnancy – included mother drinking during pregnancy or having an infection

Problems at birth – such as not enough oxygen, brain damage

Exposure to certain diseases or toxins – such as measles, whooping cough, or meningitis, as well as exposure to poisons such as lead or mercury

Iodine deficiency – affects 2 billion individuals worldwide and is leading preventable causes of this disorder especially in areas where iodine deficiency is endemic

Malnutrition – especially is areas affected by famine such as Ethiopia

Absence of arcuate fasciculus – neural pathway in the brain

Diagnosis and Treatment of Borderline Intellectual Functioning

Diagnosis of this mental disorder usually is indicated by the individual having at least 5 of the following list:

• Going to extreme lengths to evade imagined or real abandonment

• Intensely unable to maintain interpersonal relationships

• Lack of one’s own identity – unpredictability of sense of self or self-image

• Recurrent gestures, self-mutilation, suicidal behavior or threats

• Impulsive in 2 or more capacities that are self-damaging. These include abuse, speeding, sex, driving reckless, eating.

• Marked outlooks of emptiness

• Instability in affect

• Dissociative or paranoid

• Frequent shows of anger due to a control difficulties

Psychotherapy treatments can include the following types of therapy:

• Social skills training – improve communication as well as social interactions

• Family therapy – support and educate the family

• Vocational rehabilitation/supported employment – focuses on helping individuals find as well as keep jobs.

• Individual therapy. Learning to cope with stress as well as to identifying problem areas

Most communities have programs available to help those with mental disorders with housing, jobs, self-help groups and crisis management.

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