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Criteria To Receive Services-
Developmental Disability

In most states, a person shall be determined to have a developmental disability and be found eligible to receive services if the disabling condition meets all of the following criteria: 

       
is manifested before an individual attains age 22;
       
continues, or can be expected to continue, indefinitely;
       
constitutes a substantial handicap for such an individual;
       
is attributable to mental retardation or to related conditions which include cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism or other neurological conditions when such conditions result in impairment of general intellectual functioning or adaptive behavior similar to that of a person with mental retardation;
       
or, if under age five, the person is determined to be at risk of such, and require treatment or services similar to those required by children with mental retardation. 

What constitutes a "substantial handicap?"  A "substantial handicap" is one of such severity that, along or in connection with social, legal or economic constraints:

       
it prohibits the individual from living independently without assistance when appropriate to their age level, and
       
the person requires the provision of a specialized program of developmental services. 

This does not include handicapping conditions that are:
       
solely physical in nature,
       
psychiatric disorders without the presence of a developmental disability, 
       
specific learning disabilities, in areas such as reading or mathematics.

  This information may be reproduced but not altered in any way. Excerpted from the training curriculum, "Working with Families with Children/Parents with Developmental Disabilities".  Developed by Natasha Green, B.A. and Virginia Cruz, D.S.W., The Social Work Program, Metropolitan State College of Denver, PO Box 173362, Campus Box 70, Denver, Colorado, 80217. E-mail: Info@DevelopmentalDisability.org

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