About IDD1 500What is an Intellectual Disability?

Intellectual disabilities occur before age 18.  Individuals with intellectual disabilities experience limitations in two main areas: intellectual functioning & adaptive behavior.  These limitations effect the person’s everyday activities and social and conceptual skills.  Many people with intellectual disabilities are mildly affected; making the disability hard to notice with visual cues alone.  Intellectual disability is diagnosed through standardized tests of intelligence and adaptive behavior. Many children receive a diagnosis of learning disability, developmental delay, behavior disorder, or autism rather than diagnosing the intellectual disability. This makes it challenging to determine how many individuals truly have intellectual disabilities.  With support from family, friends and agencies including The Arc, over time many adults with intellectual disabilities can live independent, dynamic lives in their community. 

What is a Developmental Disability (DD)?

According to the Developmental Disabilities Act, the term developmental disability is defined as a severe, chronic disability that:
AboutIDD3 350What is the Difference Between Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities?

The major differences are in the age of onset, the severity of limitations, and the fact that the developmental disability definitions do rely on an IQ requirement.  Many individuals with an intellectual disability also fit in the developmental disability definition, however they will not meet the functional limitation requirement.

All families can expect fair and humane treatment.

Often the AWC will receive intakes or inquiries from families in the community when their child may not be eligible for our individual advocacy services. We strive to treat every individual with the highest level of respect and provide the best resources and referrals possible.

For More Information

Changes to Colorado Rules Regarding Definition of Developmental Disabilities