What is a Developmental Disability?

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

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