Developmental Disabilities

Developmental disabilities are severe, long-term problems. They may be physical, such as blindness. They may affect mental ability, such as learning disorders. Or the problem can be both physical and mental, such as Down syndrome. The problems are usually life-long, and can affect everyday living.

There are many causes of developmental disabilities, including

  • Genetic or chromosome abnormalities. These cause conditions such as Down syndrome and Rett syndrome.
  • Prenatal exposure to substances. Drinking alcohol when pregnant can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
  • Certain viral infections during pregnancy
  • Preterm birth

Often there is no cure, but treatment can help the symptoms. Treatments include physical, speech, and occupational therapy. Special education classes and psychological counseling can also help.

NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Different Conditions


Disorders of intellectual development

A mild disorder of intellectual development is a condition originating during the developmental period characterized by significantly below average intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviour that are approximately two to three standard deviations below the mean (approximately 0.1 ??????ǣ 2.3 percentile), based on appropriately normed, individually administered standardized tests or by comparable behavioural indicators when standardized testing is unavailable. Affected persons often exhibit difficulties in the acquisition and comprehension of complex language concepts and academic skills. Most master basic self-care, domestic, and practical activities. Persons affected by a mild disorder of intellectual development can generally achieve relatively independent living and employment as adults but may require appropriate support.

Also Known As

  • Mild mental retardation
  • mild mental handicap
  • Related ICD 10 COde
    ICD 10 Code F70


    Abbreviated Terms

  • Family history of conditions classifiable as intellectual development disorder
  • Also Known As

  • Family history of mental retardation
  • Related ICD 10 COde
    ICD 10 Code Z81.0


    Neurodevelopmental disorders

    Developmental motor coordination disorder is characterized by a significant delay in the acquisition of gross and fine motor skills and impairment in the execution of coordinated motor skills that manifest in clumsiness, slowness, or inaccuracy of motor performance. Coordinated motor skills are substantially below that expected given the individual's chronological age and level of intellectual functioning. Onset of coordinated motor skills difficulties occurs during the developmental period and is typically apparent from early childhood. Coordinated motor skills difficulties cause significant and persistent limitations in functioning (e.g., in activities of daily living, school work, and vocational and leisure activities).

    Abbreviated Terms

  • 'clumsy child' syndrome
  • developmental dyspraxia
  • Also Known As

  • Developmental coordination disorder
  • Specific developmental disorder of motor function
  • Related ICD 10 COde
    ICD 10 Code F82


    Related ICD 10 COde
    ICD 10 Code Z13.4

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