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The Difference Between Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Intellectual and Developmental Disability

Do you know what the difference between an intellectual and a developmental disability are?

There are many different terms to describe a disability but when it comes down to it, there are two different categories for them: intellectual and developments. While developmental disabilities may encompass people with intellectual disabilities, depending on their condition, they are not the same. Let’s take a look at these two different categories and what they mean.

Intellectual Disabilities

People with intellectual disabilities are known for having below-average cognitive abilities. But these aren’t the only characteristics that define these disabilities. These people often have an intelligent quotient (IQ) between 70-75 or below; significant limitations in the ability to adapt and carry on every day activities like self-care, communicating, and socializing; and show signs of the disability before the age of 18. There are many different causes of intellectual disabilities including physical and genetic factors. Some common syndromes associated with intellectual disabilities include autism, Down syndrome, and fragile X syndrome. Many intellectual disabilities can be caused by genetic conditions, problems during pregnancy or at time of birth, health problems at an early age, or exposure to environmental toxins like lead. These disabilities can impact milestones such as speaking, walking, and being able to take care of their personal needs. While many people fear these individuals will not be able to function as adults, that is not true. A small percentage of people will have serious, lifelong limitations, but with early intervention, appropriate education, and support, adults can lead a satisfying life in the community.

Developmental Disabilities

People with developmental disabilities have severe chronic disabilities that can be cognitive, physical, or a combination of the two. These disabilities often appear before the age of 22 and are likely life-long conditions. The term “developmental disability” is used to encompass intellectual disabilities as well as physical disabilities. Some of these disabilities are solely physical, like blindness, while others are both physical and intellectual disabilities that stem from genetic causes. These disabilities can include Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and fetal alcohol syndrome. While developmental disabilities may encompass intellectual disabilities, these two categories are not exactly the same thing. For more information on these two terms or helping a loved one, call Family Service Foundation today.

Welcome to Family Service Foundation, Inc.!

Family Service Foundation, Inc. has been serving the greater Maryland area since 1936. This nonprofit organization helps Maryland residents across a span of different areas such as mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse, and provides interpretation for deaf and deaf-blind individuals. To learn more about intellectual or developmental disabilitiesvisit here. Do you “Follow” and “Like?” Be sure to stay active on our official pages on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest today!