4433.0.55.003 - Intellectual Disability, Australia, 2012  
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WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY?

There are many causes of intellectual disability including genetic conditions, problems during pregnancy, problems at birth and health problems during childhood (Endnote 3), as well as conditions that occur more commonly in later life, such as dementia. It can also occur more suddenly with a specific illness or accident. For instance, in 2012 many people had an intellectual disability as a result of a head injury (32,600 people), stroke (35,900 people), or other brain damage (31,100 people). However, for many people no cause can be identified.

In 2012 SDAC, respondents were asked about the main condition causing them difficulty learning or understanding things. The most commonly reported main condition causing intellectual disability was “intellectual and developmental disorders” (88,200 people). Some of the other reported conditions included Dementia (86,500 people) and Autism and related disorders (including Rett's syndrome and Asperger's syndrome) (84,800 people).