Programs General Information
How many people have Developmental Disabilities?
Intellectual disability is the most common developmental disability, affecting 2 to 3% of the population. There are approximately 4.5 million individuals with developmental disabilities in the United States.
Developmental disabilities (DD) are severe, life-long disabilities attributable to intellectual and/or physical impairments, manifested before age 22.
Tips on Working with People with Developmental Disabilities
- Smile and be friendly
- Focus on abilities, not disabilities
- Treat each person with a disability as a person, first – a person with likes, dislikes, and capabilities just like everyone else
- Be positive, have a good attitude, and be patient
- Assist by explaining what to do, rather than what not to do
- Make instructions simple and clear
- Speak clearly and be specific
- Talk to and with people – not at them
- Establish routines and prepare people in advance for unexpected changes in routine
- Be observant and aware
- Establish limitations and maintain them
- Provide opportunities for choice, decision making, and expression
- Encourage confidence and self-esteem
Developmental Disabilities Result in Substantial Limitations
Three or more areas of major life activities are limited:
- Capacity for independent living
- Economic self-sufficiency
- Receptive and expressive language