Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD)

A developmental disability can be attributable to a cognitive impairment, physical impairment, or both. IDDs are usually present at birth and often negatively affect the trajectory of an individual’s physical, intellectual, and/or emotional development. Intellectual disabilities begin before a child turns 18 and is characterized by problems with both intellectual functioning or intelligence – which includes the ability to learn, reason, problem-solve, and other skills – and adaptive behavior, which includes everyday socialization and life skills. 


IDD is the term often used to describe situations in which intellectual disability and other special needs are present. Examples of developmental disabilities include autism, behavior disorders, brain injury, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, intellectual disability, and spina bifida. Though individuals may have a developmental disability, they need not be defined by it. Today, the lifespan for adults with special needs keeps pace with the general population. And, given the right circumstances, they can live happy, fulfilling, and productive lives.

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