Definitions and Signs & Symptoms
What are Developmental Disabilities?
Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions that begin at birth or during childhood. These conditions are chronic and impact an individual throughout their lifetime. Often, these difficulties occur in several important life activities such as self-care, learning, physical movement, speaking and understanding language. The most common developmental disabilities are autism and intellectual disabilities.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder that typically appears during the first two years of life. It affects brain function, specifically the areas of socialization, communication and repetitive behaviors. Autism is known as a spectrum disorder because it affects individuals in a variety of ways.
What are Intellectual Disabilities?
An intellectual disability is a developmental disorder that originates before the age of 18. Individuals have significant limitations in their intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior. Intellectual functioning is also known as intelligence and refers to how a person learns, reasons and problem solves. Adaptive behavior refers to skills learned and performed by people in their everyday lives such as self-care, following rules and being aware of safety risks.