Developmental disabilities are common

Parent and child

In Minnesota, one in five families have at least one child with a special health care need. These include developmental disabilities such as attention-deficient/hyperactivity disorder, autism, and other developmental disabilities - a diverse group of severe chronic conditions that are due to mental or physical impairments. 

Nationally, one in six children has a developmental disability. People with developmental disabilities have problems with major life activities such as language, movement, learning, self-help, and living by themselves. Developmental disabilities usually last throughout a person's lifetime. 

The cause of most developmental disabilities is unknown

Developmental disabilities may result from an interaction between genetic, environmental, and social factors. Many developmental disabilities are inherited and cannot be prevented. But some can be prevented or lessened through the following steps:

  • Begin pregnancy in the best possible health
  • Receive early and continuous prenatal care
  • Prevent harmful exposures and injuries
  • Detect and treat conditions early

See more developmental disabilities prevention tips, and take additional steps to having a healthy pregnancy

What is being done about developmental disabilities?