Intellectual Disability

Attitude towards and the language used about intellectual disability have evolved significantly over the past century. Terminology has shifted step by step from value-laden descriptors such as ‘idiots’, ‘morons’, ‘cretins’ and ‘feebleminded persons’, to persons with ‘mental deficiencies’ and ‘mental retardation’, most latterly becoming persons with ‘intellectual and developmental disorders’ (‘IDDs’). However, although language is becoming less overtly judgmental, the general attitude against people with intellectual disability has not changed much over the years.