Describes any condition which causes a person to have more trouble than the "average" person to do a mental, as opposed to physical, task. The difficulty can be anything from reading to recognizing objects to maths and more. People with cognitive disabilities will often have uncommon thought processes which mean they may approach tasks differently and may prefer information to be given in multiple ways.
Also called intellectual disability, indicates below-typical cognitive abilities. Signs of intellectual disability are failure to meet developmental milestones, decreased learning ability, persistent infantile behavior, lack of curiosity, and difficulty performing at school. There are all kinds of potential causes, such as infection (meningitis, congenital rubella), trauma (brain injury), chromosomal abnormalities (Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome), inherited conditions (Tay-Sachs, Rett syndrome), toxins (lead poisoning), metabolic disease (Reye's syndrome), even malnutrition or poor social environment. However, a cause is identified in only a quarter of people with intellectual disability. This disability is sometimes referred to as mental retardation (not a preferred term), mental disability, or developmental disability.