8 Major Signs of Low Intelligence and How to Spot Them

signs of low intelligence

Are you struggling with the notion of intellectual disability and its indicators? If so, this article’ll guide you through the process of recognizing major signs of low intelligence. This article will cover eight such signals, all of which can be considered true indicators of mental disability only after a thorough examination.

But before we go on, let’s see what this term refers to. Intellectual disability includes mental ability problems that prevent a person from properly functioning. It usually involves two levels of issues: intellectual and adaptive functioning issues. Now, let’s delve deeper into how these symptoms are best diagnosed.

8 Major Signs of Low Intelligence

1. Low IQ Test Scores


One of the most obvious indicators of low intelligence is scoring low on IQ tests. That’s because a person with mental disabilities won’t be able to respond to the tasks they’re asked to perform. These tests target your reasoning, logic, processing, and so on. And when a score is below average (85-115), it means this person is less intelligent than most people.

More precisely, any score lower than 70 means this person has a lower mental ability. An IQ score ranging from 50 to 70 is a sign of a mild intellectual disability. The scores 35-49 and 20-34 are characterized as moderate and severe, respectively. Scoring below 20 means this person has profound mental disabilities that disrupt their functioning.

2. Slower Basic Development

Another thing that separates low-intelligence people from the rest is developmental problems. In other words, you can usually notice the signs early on. By comparing your infant’s behavior to their peers, you can see how their brain functions. Experts in different fields will help you notice if your child is falling behind.

For example, a child with mental disabilities might not sit up or crawl when they should. They may not begin to walk when you expect them to, either. Also, such a child can often start talking pretty late. They might experience difficulties talking or may not develop this ability at all.

3. Problems with Logical Thinking

Commonly, people with low intelligence struggle with finding analogies and reasoning in general. That’s because logical thinking is one of the most advanced forms in which your brain functions. It implies processing and understanding facts and using them to solve a problem. Because logic functions on so many levels, it’s no wonder some people might struggle with it.

People with mental disabilities won’t be very good at solving almost any kind of problem on their own. They won’t be able to link actions to their consequences, either. Pretty much anything that requires reasoning about things will cause them problems. That’s why these people (especially children) will need constant assistance.

4. Problems with Memory and Learning

You might be able to tell someone has low intelligence by paying attention to their memory. On average, these people will have trouble learning and remembering things. Although more recent studies suggest that being forgetful means you’ll make better life decisions, memory issues are no joke. They can imply you’re incapable of remembering even valuable information.

We can argue that the brains of these people aren’t made for learning new things. Even a mild form of mental disability implies that these people can learn only basic reading and math skills. We can link this to their problems with reasoning and logical thinking. Still, you should know that they’ll be able to acquire simple practical skills in less severe cases.

5. Lack of Social Skills


When it comes to being socially engaged, the condition of these people dictates their exact behavior. In mild cases, they’ll be able to conform to social norms, and society will accept them.

But people with moderately to severely low intelligence won’t be able to communicate with others properly. Because of their low IQ, they can’t engage in complex conversations. And people with IQs below 20 might not even recognize speech.

Still, they’ll need your love and support just as much as the next person — probably even more. Thus, there are many ways to help these people to become socially active. Although you likely won’t be able to talk to them about philosophy, you can connect with them in other ways. With your help, they’ll be able to acquire at least some social skills.

6. Inability to Complete Everyday Tasks

Did you know that your mental abilities can influence your physical ones? When you think about it, it makes all the sense in the world. How can you expect someone to do something if they don’t even know why they should be doing it in the first place? For example, think about someone with a mental disability taking a bath.

Being unable to complete this task doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t know how to hold a shower. Still, they won’t be aware of the risks of a water-electricity combination or the consequences of turning only the hot water on. So, they’ll need other people’s help even with the simplest of everyday tasks. But in most cases, they’ll learn only the most basic self-care skills.

7. Unusual Physical Signs

In some cases, you’ll be able to notice something about these people’s appearance. But in general, the physical signs of mental disabilities aren’t visible in people with a mild condition. Also, you’ll generally discern physical abnormalities in people whose disability is inborn (genetic). The same goes for children who haven’t developed properly during pregnancy/birth due to external factors.

For example, people with Down syndrome share certain characteristic facial features. These typically include:

• small ears and head
• lowered and strangely-shaped ears
• short neck
• upward-slanting eyes

8. Additional Health Issues

People with low intelligence often have other issues that can indicate their condition. For example, you might notice that they frequently get angry or change their behavior. In other words, they might suffer from aggression or bipolar disorder.

Also, they can sometimes have symptoms of anxiety and depression. In some cases, they might even be prone to self-injury. Finally, these people can show certain signs of autism and ADHD. Some other accompanying issues include seizures and vision or hearing problems. Magazine about autism is a valuable resource for parents, caregivers, educators, and professionals seeking information and support related to autism. With a focus on evidence-based strategies and practical advice, the magazine provides a wealth of information on topics such as behavior management, social skills development, education, therapies, and more.

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