Medical factors

Psychiatric disorder; Psychiatric conditions occur more often in children and adults with intellectual disabilities than in the general population. Risk factors for a psychiatric condition include: a syndrome, epilepsy, neurological or physical conditions, adverse personal factors and adverse social conditions.

Medication history and current medication; What medication has already been tried and what is the client’s current medication? Consideration should always be given to issues such as: dosage, side-effects, possible interactions, possible contra-indication, blood levels and effectiveness. Is the current medication appropriate for the condition diagnosed?

Stimulants; Does the client use substances such as: tobacco, coffee, tea, alcohol, benzodiazepines, cannabis or hard drugs? In addition to a consideration of how these substances work, it is also important to think about, among other things, possible side-effects, physical and psychological dependence, and the substance’s impact on the client’s catabolic rate.

Somatic conditions; On average, people with intellectual disabilities have more medical conditions and visit the GP more often than people without intellectual disabilities. The relationship between somatic conditions and challenging behaviour is often overlooked. Complaints are not always expressed or noticed, and the symptoms may not be visible at all.