Borderline intellectual functioning, also called borderline mental retardation, is a categorization of intelligence wherein a person has below average cognitive ability (generally an IQ of 70-85), but the deficit is not as severe as mental retardation (70 or below). It is sometimes called below average IQ (BAIQ).
This is technically a cognitive impairment; however, this group is not sufficiently mentally disabled to be eligible for specialized services. Additionally, the DSM-IV-TR codes borderline intellectual functioning as V62.89, which is generally not a billable code, unlike the codes for mental retardation.
During school years, individuals with borderline intellectual functioning are often "slow learners." Although a large percentage of this group fails to complete high school and can often achieve only a low socioeconomic status, most adults in this group blend in with the rest of the population. Persons who fall into this categorization have a relatively normal expression of affect for their age, although their ability to think abstractly is rather limited. Reasoning displays a preference for concrete thinking. They are usually able to function day to day without assistance, including holding down a simple job and the basic responsibilities of maintaining a dwelling.
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