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Key Fact

The degree of intellectual impairment in Lowe syndrome varies between individuals.

Intellectual Characteristics in Lowe Syndrome

What is intellectual disability?

The term ‘intellectual disability’ is used when a person has difficulties with both cognitive (intellectual) functioning and adaptive behaviour (everyday practical and social skills) in comparison to other individuals of the same age. For difficulties to be understood as an intellectual disability they have to have been present  before the age of 18.

'Intellectual disability' is also referred to as developmental disability or learning disability, and in some cultures mental retardation.

Sometimes intellectual disability is described as mild, moderate, severe or profound.  This indicates the degree of disability and is based on the impact the intellectual disability has on the person's day to day functioning.  In addition, individuals with intellectual disability will have an IQ score below 70 on assessments of cognitive ability (average IQ for the general population is between 90 and 109).  Not all professionals agree that these categories are helpful as a single 'category' may not fully represent someone's abilities.  However, the categories are a useful way to communicate an estimate of someone's general level of functioning.


What is the degree of intellectual disability in Lowe syndrome?

Almost all affected males have some degree of intellectual impairment. Between 10% and 25% of affected males function in the low-normal or borderline range and approximately 25% function in the mild-to-moderate range of intellectual disability. The remainder of people with Lowe syndrome function in the severe-to-profound range of intellectual disability.

Some boys are mildly affected and able to attend mainstream schools with the right level of support; while others are more severely affected with loss of sight and mobility, as well as a higher level of intellectual impairment, which impacts on an individual's academic ability.

Delayed language development is evident in early childhood. Most individuals learn to communicate verbally to some extent by the age of seven years old; some eventually become quite talkative.

Most individuals have low independent living skills due to both intellectual and visual impairments. 

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