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Developmental Disabilities

Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions that begin during conception or early development and result in physical, learning, language, and behavior impairments. This entry outlines the definition and history of developmental disabilities, the causes of developmental disabilities, psychopathology associated with developmental disabilities, the effects on individuals with developmental disabilities across multiple contexts, treatments and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities, and the need for early intervention and its associated benefits.

Definition of Developmental Disabilities

The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (Public Law 106–42)defines developmental disability as a severe and chronic disability that is due to a mental and/or physical impairment, occurs before age 22, is likely to continue indefinitely, requires individualized services or treatments across the individual’s lifetime or for a ...

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