Developmental disabilities are a complex, complicated cluster of symptoms and conditions. They are lifelong and chronic. This entry begins with a definition of the condition followed by causation and specific diagnosis. The entry ends with a discussion of the implications of this diagnosis for early childhood education and particular considerations for early childhood educators.

The term developmental disabilities is an umbrella term used to describe a diverse set of disabilities in broad areas resulting from impairments in physical ability, learning, language, or behavior. These conditions often occur prenatally or at a young age but may occur anytime in development as a result of injury, infection, or other factors occurring up to 22 years of age. The key aspects shared by these very different conditions are that ...

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