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Depression in Young Adults with non-verbal intellectual disability Essay

  • Adults with special needs and learning disabilities often have communication-related issues to speech, language, social skills, and behavior. Such adults with a non-verbal learning disability can’t express themselves properly and, as a result, gets into depression.
  • This essay primarily focuses on depression in young adults who have non-verbal intellectual disabilities and methods to help them overcome such difficulties. They have a well developed strong vocabulary skill, strong reading recognition ability, and rote language skills.
  • A research was conducted to display the behavioral pattern of such people. It says that only 5% of individuals with learning disabilities display the cognitive issues associated with non-verbal disability.
  • The three major parts in which their symptoms of disability and depression could be categorized are- (1) Motor skills, (2) Visual-spatial organization of memories, (3) Social abilities.

Symptoms of nonverbal intellectual disability 

  • Comprehension of social and emotional cues and information that is unclear in words. Such as sarcasm, humor, metaphors, etc.
  • They’ve difficulty in initiating a conversation and maintaining it while trying to understand what to say. It shows a lack of social interaction skills in such adults.
  • Problem is faced by them while completing complex tasks with multiple steps as it requires arrangements of thoughts in mind and efficient execution of the task.
  • Difficulty in the comprehension of mathematical problems. They can solve basic problems but not very complex maths problems. They also face issues in concepts of space, time, quantity or word problems, etc.
  • Such adults have been categorized to have poor visual skills and poor motor performance.
  • They have a strong memory skill, and they get into details of a subject but miss out on the bigger picture. Good critical analysis skills but lacks in understanding the basics.

Depression in Young adults with a nonverbal learning disability 

  • Depression is a common mental illness these days, but this is more common for people with communication and social disabilities. It is more common in people with intellectual disabilities. It is a condition of a persistent period of sadness that causes fatigue and numbness in one’s body and mind.

The behavior of a person with severe nonverbal disability and depression 

  • The common people have different symptoms than the people of this category. The behavioral changes that could be seen in this special condition category of people are louder, which could be diagnosed easily by medical attention.
  • The changes include such as screaming, agitation, self-injury, sleep disturbance, and reduced communication. Studies show that people with Down’s syndrome have common problems, showing a greater level of sadness, loss of interest, social withdrawal, reduced energy, and slowed activity.
  • Physical changes could also be seen in them like reduced appetite, causing reduced physical health, hypothyroidism, viral illness, chronic pain, and dementia.

Barriers in diagnose of depression in people with nonverbal intellectual disability 

  • People with “intellectual disability” may not recognize their symptoms as an indicator of depression as they don’t see a problem at all.
  • Carers of these adults may confuse their depression with their normal course of behavior and may not give it medical attention.
  • They may not get enough support and care to diagnose their depression and may remain untreated.
  • The healthcare decisions require adequate information and accessibility of knowledge about the history of the patient. But due to a lack of communication skills, there might be a gap in the conveyance of information.
  • When there is a lack of communication skills, there is a lack of understanding leading to a lack of awareness. It causes a lack of need for medical examination as there is a lack of co-operation.
  • They may be offered different treatment from other people with the same condition as there is difficulty obtaining the patient’s consent. Different treatment is provided to see their level of co-operation and reaction to treatment.
  • Treatment intended for short term use may not be reviewed because the carers may just request repeat prescriptions.

Methods to help a person in depression with a nonverbal learning disability 

  • Addressing the person while acknowledging their thoughts. One must listen to the person and try to strike a two-way conversation.
  • The feelings and emotions of the person should be respected by being patient and calm with him.
  • Finding out the various channels of communication that are open and available. Ask how much is it working for them and interpret their behavior.
  • There should be a positive approach towards them with a relaxed body language. Body language should be consistent with facial expressions while talking to them.
  • Do not fear or judge them. Rather, be supportive and observe their non-verbal reactions. Watch for signs of frustration, anger, fear, responses.
  • Make eye contact and respect personal space. Keep face below their eye level to make them feel comfortable and not controlled.

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