Tag Archives: Developmental Disabilties

Developmental Disabilties or Intellectual Disabilities

These resources are for people with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities.  The term ‘Developmental Disabilities’ can be misleading.  The Ontario Ministry of Education uses the term to describe students of low intellectual abiltiy (i.e. low thinking abilty or low IQ). 

In some parts of the world (or even Ontario!) “Developmental Disabilities” refers to anything that changes the ‘normal’ course of development – such as childhood schiztophrenia or epilepsy.  This is not what we’re talking about here.  

Years ago students with Developmental Disabilties were described as ‘Mentally Retarded’ with descriptors of ‘mild’, ‘moderate’, ‘severe’ and ‘profound’.  These words are NOT used in Education in Ontario. 

The Ontario Ministry of Education uses the following definitions:

Mild Intellectual Disability A learning disorder characterized by:

a) an ability to profit educationally within a regular class with the aid of considerable curriculum modification and supportive service;

b) an inability to profit educationally within a regular class because of slow intellectual development;

c) a potential for academic learning, independent social adjustment, and economic self-support.

Developmental Disability A severe learning disorder characterized by:

a) an inability to profit from a special education program for students with mild intellectual disabilities because of slow intellectual development;

b) an ability to profit from a special education program that is designed to accommodate slow intellectual development;

c) a limited potential for academic learning, independent social adjustment, and economic self-support.

Special Education: A Guide for Educators (2002)

Developmental Disabilties

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities http://www.aaidd.org/

Canadian Association for Community Living http://www.cacl.ca

Ontario Association for Developmental Disabilities http://www.oadd.org
National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Check out the poorly named ‘Disorder Index’ Definitely not written from a people first perspective; however the medical information and overviews of the many different ‘disorders’,  (many not just developmental disabilities) is very good, with accurate and links to external sites that are also good.  This site has everything from ADHD and Adie’s Syndrome to Zellweger Syndrome! http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/disorder_index.htm
Down Syndrome
Canadian Down Syndrome Society http://www.cdss.ca/

Down Syndrome Education Online http://www.down-syndrome.org/
Fragile X

Fragile X Research Association of Canada


The National Fragile X Foundation
Excellent site – very comprehensive http://www.fragilex.org/html/home.shtml
Check out the “Lesson Planning Guide for Students with Fragile X Syndrome: A Practical Approach for the Classroom” Excellent ideas for teachers.  (Parents, please hand this to your child’s teacher!) http://www.fragilex.org/pdf/FXSBinderReprint0804.pdf

Prader-Willi Syndrome

Prader Willi Syndrome Association USA This is my favourite site for PWS, if you need to contact the folks about additional info, feel free to phone – they are awesome! http://www.pwsausa.org/
Check out their Medical Resources – PWAUSA has a great Medical Alert package to take to doctors or the Emergency Room. http://www.pwsausa.org/syndrome/medical.htm

William Syndrome

Canadian Association for William Syndrome Good information and links to resources. http://caws.sasktelwebhosting.com/index.html

The Special Education Companion, 2002 (do you sense a theme here?)

Possibly the BEST and most under-used document in Special Education!  This document lists countless ways to help students under each Exceptionality Category.  If you look at ‘Mild Intellectual Disabilty’ OR ‘Developmental Disability’ you have 10 pages of characterisitics of  students with DD/MID, issues, general teaching and learning strategies, program ideas, subject-specific strategies (reading, spelling, mathematics) and assessment strategies!

Do NOT write an IEP without reading this document! Parents and Teachers should use this resource to determine appropriate accommodations, modifications, and strategies for the classroom.  Parents, please bring this to your teacher meetings to advocate for your child!

Please give comments with your favourite websites for people with Developmental Disabilities – share the wealth!

Remember: This is a PERSONAL blog, not an official Ministry of Education website. This is a forum for sharing.

Please add comments and your favourite resources (and let me know if there are any dead links!) Thank you!


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Filed under Developmental Disabilties or Intellectual Disabilities, How to Teach Students with Special Needs