Types of Disabilities

Disability occurs due to a physical, mental, cognitive, sensory, developmental or emotional impairment that might be present in an individual from birth or comes about in the later part of life due to some accident or surgery. Disability may be mild or profound; conditions that cause any kind of disability might be congenital, idiopathic, and inherited. This article will introduce some types of disabilities.

Physical and Mobility Disability

image001A physical disability impairs the body’s limb function causing failure in mobility. People with physical disabilities are compelled to use mobility aids like wheelchairs, artificial limbs, crutches, and canes. The physical disability can occur due to several reasons such as congenital, idiopathic, cerebral palsy, amputation a result of injury, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, pulmonary disease, heart disease.

Sensory Disability

The impairment of one of the senses is known as sensory disability. Below briefly touches upon the common sensory disabilities.

1. Vision Impairment

image002Vision impairment occurs due to trauma, disease or inheritance. It results in complete loss of visual function to such degree that modern day technology like a refractive correction and surgery are to no aid.

2. Hearing Impairment

Hearing impairment is the loss of hearing ability where a person is unable to receive sounds at certain frequencies.

3. Olfactory and Gustatory Impairment

Some of the olfactory and gustatory impairments are anosmia, hyposmia, hyperosmia, dysosmia, olfactory reference syndrome, phantosmia and parosmia.

4. Somatosensory Impairment

Somatosensory impairment is the insensitivity of the body to stimuli like touch, cold, heat, and pain that also affects motor neural circuits.

5. Balance Disorder

A balance disorder causes unsteadiness in an individual’s posture, such as difficulty in standing and walking. Common symptoms include being giddy, woozy, feeling of movement and feeling of spinning. To maintain Balance, several systems should be intact like the visual system, the vestibular system and the proprioception system.

Intellectual Disability

Intellectual disability is an intensive branch of mental disabilities that involves malfunctioning of the brain or cognitive dysfunction resulting in cognitive retardation. Some of the most common mental disabilities are discussed below.

1. Mental Retardation

image003Mental retardation is a cognitive glitch in which an individual is unable to learn new skills or employ them properly in daily activities or picks up new things slower than others. Mental retardation may be detected in children during infancy and the time they start school. Mild signs often do not show in children but become apparent later in life. Most common signs include trouble with verbal communication, difficulty in walking, crawling, sitting, difficulty in connecting actions with their consequences, trouble remembering things, trouble learning things like potty training and dressing oneself, difficulty in problem solving and analytical abilities as well as behavioral problems.

2. Learning Disabilities

Learning disability is associated with a person’s ability of seeing, remembering, and hearing things. There is a broad array of learning problems like trouble with reading, writing, reasoning, mathematics calculations and verbal communication. People with learning disability have trouble absorbing the new information and learning new skills, some patients might learn things but at a very slow pace.

  • Dyslexia. Dyslexia includes disability in basic reading and disability in comprehending material. Reading disability is linked to a person’s inability to differentiate between sounds and words. Reading comprehension disability is associated with the person’s inability to comprehend the meaning of the written sentences and words. 
  • Dyscalculia. Dyscalculia is associated with the inability of a child or adult to perform simple arithmetic calculations. Dyscalculia varies in patients depending on their mental strength and weaknesses. People with dyscalculia have difficulty in memorizing simple math principles like numbers and tables, operation signs, learning basic counting principles and telling accurate time.
  • Dysgraphia. Dysgraphia is another learning disability mostly found in children. Children with Dysgraphia find it hard to execute simple writing tasks like the physical act of writing, ability to make proper sentences and synthesizing the given information. Dysgraphia impairs the child’s ability to form words and sentences; children are unable to translate their thoughts on a paper.
  • Dyspraxia. Dyspraxia is linked to an individual’s difficulty in motor functions including movement and coordination, fine motor skills like cutting and writing, and gross motor skills like jumping and jogging. This disability is associated with the brain’s inability to direct orders to the particular limbs. Common symptoms include problems with physical activities that require hand-body or hand-eye coordination like holding a pen or zipping a bag.
  • Aphasia/Dysphasia. Aphasia, also called language-based learning disability, is the inability of the individual to comprehend spoken language. This disability is directly associated with brain’s function of output activity as it requires systemization of thoughts. Common signs of aphasia include inability to understand directions, fluency in verbal speech and inability to comprehend the meaning of the words.

Mental Disabilities

A mental disability is a psychological, behavioral condition usually coupled with subjective depression or distress in an individual that is perceived by the society as atypical. Here lists some typical mental disabilities. 

1. Eating Disorders

image004Eating disorder is linked to an individual’s strong emotions and behaviors towards food and weight. Most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa.

2. Mood Disorders

Mood disorders are associated with sudden mood swings, unrelenting feelings of sadness or gloominess and ecstatic, or changing from extreme sadness to extreme happiness. Common mood disorders include mania, bipolar disease and depression.

3. Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorder is associated with an individual’s inability to think straight. Individuals with this disorder have imprecise awareness. Symptoms include mild to severe hallucinations experiencing unrealistic sounds and images, and the most common example is Schizophrenia.

4. Anxiety Disorders

People with anxiety conditions suffer from trepidation while responding to certain events and objects. They show physical signs of anxiety like nervousness, fidgeting, increased heartbeat and sweating. Anxiety disorders are classified into include obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder, specific phobias (Xenophobia), and panic disorder.

5. Impulse Control and Addiction Disorders

Impulse control and addiction disorders allied to a person’s inability to control urges or impulses to perform certain acts that might be harmful to him or others around him. The most common examples are kleptomania (stealing), pyromania, and obsessive gambling.

6. Personality Disorders

Personality disorders refer to a person’s inability to reside in one consistent personality. People with this disorder have extreme unsteady characteristics that cause a problem with the person’s social life. The most common examples are obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder.

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