The following is adapted from information provided by the ARC of the United States
What is a Developmental Disability?
The essential features of a Developmental Disability are significantly sub average general intellectual functioning accompanied by limitations in adaptive functioning in at least two or the following skill areas: communication, self-care, home living, social/interpersonal skills, use of community resources, self-direction functional academic skills, work, leisure, health, and safety. This definition applies when the above characteristics present in the developmental period.
Developmental Disability – Diagnosis and Supports
Diagnosis and identification of supports for people with a developmental disability occur in three steps. The first step is diagnosis. To make the diagnosis of a developmental disability a qualified person gives one or more standardized, individual intelligence tests and a standardized, individual adaptive skills test. The second step is to describe the person’s strengths and weaknesses across four dimensions. The four dimensions are:
1. Intellectual and adaptive behavior skills
2. Psychological/emotional considerations
3. Physical health/etiological considerations
4. Environmental considerations