Good health is important to us all. When we feel well we are more likely to engage with others, join in activities and enjoy our lives. Being uncomfortable, in pain or distressed undermines our ability to be independent and participate; and so impacts on the quality of our lives.

People with intellectual disabilities may have a number of health issues. These relate to a number of factors including:

  • The underlying cause of the disability (for instance people with Down syndrome are more likely to have trouble with their thyroid);
  • The person’s intellectual disability making it more difficult for them to read or understand public health and health promotion messages (for instance the importance of and ways to access cancer screening programs)
  • The person’s communication ability may make it difficult for the person to describe their symptoms or experiences (e.g. side effects of medication, psychiatric symptoms)
  • The social disadvantage people with disabilities often experience (for instance, low income, unemployment, limited housing options)

Start typing and press Enter to search