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Developmental Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that limits major life functions including language, mobility, learning, self-help, employment, and independent living. Developmental disabilities begin anytime during development up to 22 years of age and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.  Developmental disabilities vary widely and can include:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Behavioral Disorders

  • Brain Injury

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Down syndrome

  • Hearing Impairment

  • Learning Disability

  • Mental Illness

  • Mental Retardation

  • Physical Disability

  • Speech Delay

  • Vision Impairment

Typical Developmental Milestones

Do you know all the ways you should measure your child’s growth? We naturally think of height and weight, but from birth to five years, your child should reach milestones in how he plays, learns, speaks and acts. A delay in any of these areas could be a sign of a developmental problem. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides an interactive milestones checklist and more helpful information.

Early Intervention

If you have concerns about your child’s development, there are services available to help you determine if your child has a delay due to a developmental disability.  The good news is, the earlier that a delay is recognized, the more you can do to help your child reach his/her full potential. Learn more about the First Steps Program for early intervention in Kentucky.


Want to find counseling services for a person with disabilities? Have a question about special education services through your child’s school? Want to locate a support network? Need help dealing with an issue of discrimination? Want to learn more about laws relating to disabilities? Contact the Human Development Institute for answers to these questions, free services, support and more!