A person is determined to have a developmental disability if at
least one of the two following conditions exists:
This refers to significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning
existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested
before the age of 18 years. Significantly sub-average is defined
as an intelligence quotient (IQ) of 70 or below on standard measures
This is a severe, chronic disability that meets all of the following
It is attributable
palsy or epilepsy; or any other condition, other than mental illness,
found to be closely related to an intellectual disability because
this condition results in an impairment of general intellectual
functioning or adaptive behavior similar to that of persons with
intellectual disability, and requires treatment or services similar
to those required for these persons.
• It is manifested before the individual reaches age 22.
• It is likely to continue indefinitely.
• It results in substantial functional limitations in three
or more of the following areas of major life activity:
• Self-care (taking care of their own basic needs);
• Language (communicating with others);
• Learning (ability to learn new things);
• Mobility (getting from place to place);
• Self-direction (motivating and guiding themselves through
daily living activities;
• Capacity for independent living (living independently including
ability to earn enough money to live on).
• Children can be classified as having a developmental disability
if it seems they will have these problems when they get older.
You may notice
that some persons may have a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, epilepsy,
or autism spectrum disorder and are not considered to be developmentally
disabled. That's because if an individual has been diagnosed with
cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or autism spectrum disorder, but not an
intellectual disability and the disability is not considered to
have created a substantial handicap, then it cannot be considered
a developmental disability.
disabilities are the most common of the developmental disabilities,
but not everyone with a developmental disability has an intellectual
disability. A developmental delay occurs when the child has not
reached the milestones indicated for their age group. You can read
more on this topic at