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S32 Step By Step Guide

Identifying intellectual disability

Common signs of intellectual disability:

  • Client has difficulty in responding to questions or avoids responding
  • Client has difficulty making him or herself understood
  • Client has difficulty in following instructions
  • Client has poor concentration
  • Client acts younger than their actual age

If you think your client may have intellectual disability, you can ask them directly. If your client is not sure, try asking questions like

  • Do you receive a Disability Support Pension (DSP)? Why is that?
  • Do you receive assistance in housing or employment?
  • Do you receive help from a disability service? Do you receive help from ADHC? Do you have a case worker?
  • Did you have trouble with learning at school? Did you get any extra help with lessons at school?
  • What school did you go to? Were you ever in a special school? Why do you think that was?
    Note that some people with intellectual disability will not have attended special classes or schools due to their disability not having been recognised at school. In more recent years this may be due to the change in government policy towards integration of children with disabilities into regular schools and classes.
  • Were you ever in a special class at school?
    In recent years these classes have been called IM and IO classes. For people in their 30s or 40s, special classes or schools may have been called OA or OF classes or schools.

Possible Intellectual Disability? Check it out further

If you suspect that your client may have intellectual disability, you will need to seek further information to confirm this.

  • Speak with your client's family or other supporters about whether your client has intellectual disability or some other developmental disability that would mean section 32 was relevant
  • Check your client's criminal history to see if they have previous section 32 orders
  • With your client's consent, contact Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) to enquire whether or not your client is either a current or past client of ADHC
Common Effects of Intellectual DisabilityChallenging behaviour

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