Individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome tend to have mild to moderate intellectual disability; around 40% of individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome have a mild intellectual disability and around 20% have a moderate intellectual disability. IQs are estimated to fall between 50 and 85 with a mean of 60. This means that some individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome have borderline intellectual disabilities.
Some children are able to attend mainstream education with the right level of support; however many have multiple learning difficulties that can impact their academic performance. Most children can learn to read simple texts; this may need to be shared with teachers in SEN schools where the emphasis is mainly on practical skills.
Long term memory is usually good amongst individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome, although some may have difficulty with their short term memory.
Generally, verbal ability is a strength particularly in those with the maternal uniparental disomy genotype. However, language development may be severely impaired in a small number of individuals.