In American society, people with intellectual disabilities are usually segregated from their peers in high school, college, and the workforce. In the opening sequence of this documentary, the narrator, Academy Award-winning actor Chris Cooper, sets the mood for what is to come with his account of his gifted son Jesse who skipped a school intelligence test and went on to distinguish himself with high grades and astonishing creativity.

Cooper asks the question that will linger in the minds of viewers: "Can any attempt to measure intelligence predict a person's value, or potential to contribute meaningfully to the world?"

Award-winning filmmaker Dan Habib presents the wonders and small miracles achieved by Micah, Naieer, and Naomie as they move through the world by honing new skills, developing new relationships, and firming up their resolve to be all they can be in a very competitive society. The best part of Intelligent Lives is the affirming and uplifting ways in which the filmmakers celebrate the capacities for change in these youth!