By Carolyn C. Older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities can present clinicians with unique challenges related to appropriate assessment and treatment. Providers need to develop the skills and sensitivity necessary to effectively treat these patients. Adults with developmental disabilities are living longer, healthier, more meaningful lives.
Facts About Developmental Disabilities
Caring for a Person With Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities
A person may need support with cooking, banking, transportation, social situations, health care visits, and jobs. Three of the best-known intellectual or developmental disabilities are Down syndrome, autism, and traumatic brain injury TBI. Many families care for a person who has an intellectual or developmental disability. It could be a young child, an adult child who lives at home with his or her parents, or even an adult sibling. If you are caring for a loved one who has an intellectual or developmental disability, you are considered a caregiver.
People with developmental disabilities are living longer than ever before, and physicians caring for the mature and aged person need to be aware of their special needs. A developmentally disabled person is one who has a diagnosis of mental retardation, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, autism, or similar neurological condition that originated before adulthood. Perhaps the biggest advance in lifespan for individuals with a developmental disability are those people with Down syndrome. In a study published in of people with Down syndrome born after , the average life expectancy was
Developmental disability is a diverse group of chronic conditions that are due to mental or physical impairments that arise before adulthood. Developmental disabilities cause individuals living with them many difficulties in certain areas of life, especially in "language, mobility, learning, self-help, and independent living". Developmental disability that affects all areas of a child's development is sometimes referred to as global developmental delay. The causes of developmental disabilities are varied and remain unknown in a large proportion of cases. Even in cases of known etiology the line between "cause" and "effect" is not always clear, leading to difficulty in categorizing causes.