Developmental Disabilities: A Primer

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Developmental Disabilities: A Primer

Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions that impact the development of children and can be caused by many factors including medical conditions, environmental factors, and genetics. These disabilities are often present in infancy or early childhood but may not be identified until they impact daily activities. They are impairments in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas.

The 7 main developmental disabilities are as follows:

  1. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  2. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  3. Cerebral Palsy (CP)
  4. Hearing Loss
  5. Intellectual Disability (IND)
  6. Learning Disability (LD)
  7. Vision Impairment

Developmental disabilities occur among all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic groups and in the United States, approximately 17 percent of children ages 3 through 17 have an impairment.

Treatment will vary depending on the specific developmental disability diagnosed. Many treatments include but are not limited to occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language therapy, vision therapy, and prescriptive reading and math therapy.

Although the CDC does not study treatment or education programs or provide direct treatment for people with developmental disabilities, they do have a list of resources where you can find the correct therapies for your direct needs.

Finding the correct treatment and intervening early on is crucial for people with developmental disabilities to live their lives as independently as possible.