The state of Missouri defines a developmental disability as a disability attributable to: mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, head injury or autism, OR a learning disability related to a brain dysfunction or autism OR any other mental or physical impairment or combination thereof that is manifested before the person attains age 22 and is likely to continue indefinitely and which, in addition, results in substantial functional limitations in two or more of the following areas:

  • Self-care
  • Receptive and expressive language development and use
  • Learning
  • Self-direction
  • Capacity for independent living or economic self-sufficiency
  • Mobility and
  • Reflects the person’s need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary or generic care, treatment, or other services which are lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.


A developmental disability is a disability which is attributable to but not limited to:

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Blindness
  • Brain trauma
  • Brain disorders
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Chromosome abnormalities
  • Epilepsy
  • Genetic disorders
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Neurological disorders
  • Quadriplegia
  • Spina bifida


Learn more about disabilities from these resources:

Open Future Learning
Open Future Learning
Open Future Learning offers inspirational and straight forward information on a multitude of topics regarding individuals with disabilities, such as:
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Autism Alliance of Northwest Missouri
Autism Alliance of NW Missouri
Autism Alliance of NW Missouri – a nonprofit organization located in Saint Joseph, MO. They offer information and guidance to
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Missouri Family to Family
Housed at UMKC Institute of Human Development, Missouri Family to Family serves individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals
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UCP of Northwest Missouri
Helping children and adults with disabilities, United Cerebral Palsy of Northwest Missouri is part of the national network of UCP
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Down Syndrome Guild of Kansas City
Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City
Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City provides support and resources for individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the
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