Developmental Disabilities: What are they?

The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) defines developmental disability as a “severe, chronic disability (cognitive, physical, or a combination of both) that begins any time between birth through age 21 and is expected to last a life time” ( Developmental disabilities (DD) are not always visible and can result in serious limitations in everyday life activities. According to NACDD, approximately 5.4 million Americans have developmental disabilities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines developmental disabilities as a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. According to the CDC, about one in six children in the US have one or more developmental disabilities or other developmental delays. The CDC have a page dedicated to developmental disabilities with information that includes the basics, specific conditions, articles, multimedia and other tools, and a resource center.

NIDRR has several projects whose results will benefit people with developmental disabilities. Some of these projects include:

  • Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Community Living and Employment for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Minneapolis, MN. H133B080005.
  • Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Developmental Disabilities: Lifespan Health and Function. Chicago, IL. H133B080009.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (VCU ASC Career Links). Richmond, VA. H133A080027.
  • Pocket Potty Program – Toilet Training for Children with Developmental Disabilities. Charlotte, NC. H133S120002.

A basic search in NARIC’s website utilizing “developmental disabilities” as the search term results in 1000 articles/books/reports. Here are a few articles from that search, but we invite you to try your own search:

  • State health care financing strategies for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. NARIC Accession Number: J64305.
  • Self-advocacy skills as a predictor of student IEP participation among adolescents with autism. NARIC Accession Number: J63480.
  • Perspectives on life after high school for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities: Findings of a statewide survey of families. NARIC Accession Number: O18549.
  • Sleep problems and early developmental delay: Implications for early intervention programs. NARIC Accession Number: J63011.

About mpgarcia

I'm the Bilingual Information/Media Specialist at NARIC.
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