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Diversity Quiz

Special Olympics

by Margaret Manalo

Published: August 2015

July is the month that marked the beginning of the Special Olympics (1968), a global organization that involves people with intellectual disabilities in the joy of sport. Take this quiz to learn some background on the mental and intellectual disabilities that unfortunately plague millions of people, as well as gain insight on statistics concerning recovery and therapy.


1. True or False: A mental health condition is the result of one cause.

A. True
B. False

2. What is the ratio of adults experiencing a mental health condition every year?

A. 1 in 5
B. 1 in 15
C. 1 in 25
D. 1 in 35

3. Over 200 classified forms of mental illnesses exist – how many major categories are they divided into?

A. 3
B. 4
C. 5
D. 6

4. True or False: Intellectual disability is the most common developmental disability.

A. True
B. False

5. Approximately how many people in the United States have an intellectual disability?

A. 3.5 million
B. 4.5 million
C. 5.5 million
D. 6.5 million

6. What is NOT one of the most common causes of intellectual disabilities?

A. diseases or toxic exposure
B. catching the disability from another individual
C. complications during pregnancy
D. problems during birth



1. [B] Quaker
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) states that research suggests multiple, interlinking causes to mental health conditions. Because people with the same diagnosis can have different experiences, the complexity of their causes is understandable – genetics, environment, and lifestyle all combine to influence development of a mental health condition. Stress factors from work or home life, as well as traumatic events, make some people more susceptible. Biochemical processes and basic brain structure could also be factors.

Mental Health Conditions. (2015). Retrieved July 20, 2015, from

2. [A] 1 in 5
Every year, 1 in 5 adults experience a mental health condition. Additionally, 1 in 20 adults live with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Mental Health Association of North Carolina states that “More than 54 million Americans have a mental illness in any given year, although very few actually seek treatment.” About 50% of mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24. Behavior changes of adolescence may mimic or mask symptoms of a mental health condition, but recovery is a possibility. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers a helpline and has multiple locations in the United States, stressing that “Recovery, including meaningful roles in social life, school and work, is possible, especially when you start treatment early and play a strong role in your own recovery process.”

THE FIVE (5) MAJOR CATEGORIES OF MENTAL ILLNESS. (2011). Retrieved July 20, 2015, from

Mental Health Conditions. (2015). Retrieved July 20, 2015, from

3. [C] 5
Frankly, the stigma associated with mental illness is still the biggest barrier that prevents people from getting treatment or retaining their treatment, but 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 children will have a mental health disorder at some point in their lives. The five major categories of mental illnesses are anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia/psychotic disorders, dementias, and eating disorders. Ranges of successful treatment rates of common mental illnesses are as follows: schizophrenia (45-60%), major depression (65-80%), bipolar disorder (80%), and panic disorder (70-90%).

THE FIVE (5) MAJOR CATEGORIES OF MENTAL ILLNESS. (2011). Retrieved July 20, 2015, from

4. [A] True
The Special Olympics home website states that, “Intellectual disability (or ID) is a term used when a person has certain limitations in cognitive functioning and skills, including communication, social and self-care skills.” Such limitations can cause slowed development and learning as a child grows up, opposed to a typically developing child. Intellectual disability could occur any time before a child turns 18, or even before birth. The American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities assesses that an individual has intellectual disability if her or she meets three criteria: 1. IQ is below 70-75; 2. There are significant limitations in two or more adaptive areas (skills that are needed to live, work, and play in the community, such as communication or self-care); and 3. The condition manifests itself before the age of 18.

What is Intellectual Disability? (2015). Retrieved July 20, 2015, from

5. [D] 6.5 million
In the United States alone, about 6.5 million people have an intellectual disability. Globally, about 200 million people have an intellectual disability – which is about 1-3% nationwide. Intellectual disabilities are significantly more common in low-income countries, with a ratio of 16.41 in every 1,000 people. Low-income countries also have higher percentages of overall disabilities; the United Nations Development Program estimates that 80% of all people with disabilities live in low-income countries. In further comparison, people with disabilities represent about 1 in 10 people worldwide and are also 1 in every 5 of the world’s poorest people.

What is Intellectual Disability? (2015). Retrieved July 20, 2015, from

6. [B] catching the disability from another individual
Intellectual disability is not contagious; it is impossible to “catch” an intellectual disability from another person. Unlike some mental illnesses such as depression, intellectual disabilities cannot be given to others nor can they be cured. During pregnancy, a baby may not properly develop within the mother. A problem with the way the baby’s cells divide could cause an intellectual disability. Issues may also occur during delivery of the baby, such as the baby not receiving enough oxygen. Other common causes include exposure to whooping cough, the measles, or meningitis; exposure to poisons like lead or mercury; extreme malnutrition; and inheriting abnormal genes from parents or errors occurring when genes combine. Yet on a positive note, children with intellectual disabilities can still learn to do many things. It just takes more time or different learning styles.

What is Intellectual Disability? (2015). Retrieved July 20, 2015, from


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