The term “Developmental Disabilities” applies to a whole group of conditions that may cause physical, learning, language, or behavioral impairment. According to the CDC, about one in six children in the United States have “one or more developmental disabilities or other developmental delays.” These conditions begin before the age of 18, have an impact on daily life, and generally last throughout a person’s life.
Alta California Regional Center assists individuals with specific developmental disabilities and their families in accessing appropriate services so that every individual can live up to their highest potential.
The name of the condition we know today as Intellectual Disability has changed over time; most recently it was primarily known as mental retardation. Although the name has changed, the essential elements of the diagnosis (limitations in intellectual functioning, behavior limitations in adapting to environmental demands, and early age onset) have not substantially changed.
Developmental disabilities are caused by many different kinds of trauma to the developing brain and nervous system. In many cases it is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the damage or time when it occurred. Many specific agents are known to cause developmental disabilities or to be associated with an increased risk of developing a disability and these are divided into nine broad categories: