A developmental disability is a permanent disability, present before age 18, that causes challenges with day-to-day living. A developmental disability may be mental, physical, or a combination of the two. People with developmental disabilities experience difficulty with things like personal care, language skills, learning, and independent living, and the difficulties may be mild or severe. People with developmental disabilities may also have challenging behaviours and are often at risk of social isolation.
Most people know someone with a developmental disability. People with developmental disabilities might have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD), for example. Other people may experience an illness or injury in childhood that leads to a developmental disability.