What is a Developmental Disability?
Under federal law, Developmental Disabilities are a severe, often lifelong disability that affects people before they reach age 22 and substantially limits functioning ability in three or more life activities such as self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, independent living, and employability.
Who is considered eligible?
A young child with a developmental disability is defined (excerpts from the Regulations of the Developmental Disabilities Act of 1996) is a child who has one of three conditions:
- A condition so severe that it has a high probability of resulting in an Intellectual Disability.
- A condition of clearly observable and measurable delays in cognitive development and significant and observable and measurable delays in adaptive behavior.
- A pervasive developmental disorder resulting in significant and observable and measurable delays in at least two of the following areas of adaptive behavior.
School – age child or adult with a developmental disability is defined as a person who:
- Has an intellectual disability or pervasive development disorder which manifested before age 18 and has significant deficits in adaptive behavior which manifested before age 18.
- These deficits if temporary, as the result of a severe emotional disturbance before 18 are not a developmental disability.