Complex disorders that result in physical impairments, intellectual disabilities, speech disorders, and medical concerns are referred to as developmental disabilities. Although developmental impairments are occasionally recognized at birth, they are typically not clearly seen until ages three to six.

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Developmental Disability Types

Mild to severe developmental impairments are possible. Some common developmental disorders are:

  • Autism
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Chromosome abnormalities such as trisomies.
  • Down syndrome
  • Fetal alcohol and drug-related syndromes
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  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Genetic disorders
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Spina bifida
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Velocardiofacial syndrome

Disability Vs. Developmental Delay

The term “developmental delays” is frequently used by doctors to describe a child’s developmental difficulties. This euphemistic phrase can be quite deceptive. After all, a delayed train does eventually arrive at the station, and delayed satisfaction is not the same as receiving nothing at all!

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Developmental impairments are genetically based in the great majority of cases. You cannot “grow out of” your genetic makeup. Thus, developmental impairments are not something that kids “grow out of.”

Be extremely suspicious if you have heard reports of children who had a certain developmental condition being “fixed” overnight. There’s a good chance that the youngster had a lot of therapy and only had a moderate form of the condition. As a result, that specific child could be able to perform at an age-appropriate level, at least temporarily.

Functioning as Adults

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Adults with developmental disabilities are born with them as children. Their level of functioning (and success in their social, economic, and professional lives) will rely on a variety of variables.

Early Treatment

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Their degree of functioning as adults may vary depending on the quantity and caliber of therapy they got as children. The likelihood that a child will succeed as an adult is increased when that child receives rigorous, suitable therapies when still a young child.

Personality

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Each individual with a developmental disability is unique. While some persons with these disabilities feel “handicapped,” others are driven to be as successful or independent as they can be. Results heavily depend on these individual characteristics.

Social Network

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An adult with a developmental impairment could be completely alone or might be a part of a warm and loving family, community, or both. Unsurprisingly, it is simpler to be largely self-sufficient in a group of people who are familiar with you and eager to support your success.

Severity

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The degree of the handicap also affects how well adults can operate. An adult with a mild handicap might be able to adapt and/or develop abilities to the point where they can work without much assistance or independently.

Disability Type

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While requiring extensive physical support, some developmental disorders (such as spina bifida) allow adults to perform successfully socially or at work. Others, like Down syndrome, may allow people to operate socially well—but they need some sort of support at work.