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Intellectual Disability: Lifespan Perspectives

Intellectual disability (ID) is a lifelong condition. Persons with ID may face more challenges than their peers in each life stage due to their disability and often experience more chronic diseases or conditions at earlier ages than the general population. A lifespan approach requires individuals and services to conceptualize policy and practice in terms of the cumulative effects as the individual ages. For instance, the quality of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with ID influences later opportunities and development in primary and secondary school education, employment, and community life. Disabilities interact with social determinants and environmental aspects across the lifespan to result in different outcomes for individuals. Therefore, the lifespan approach recognizes the important role that culture, socioeconomic status, and environmental factors ...

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