IDD stands for Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities. This disability is characterized by severe and chronic conditions due to mental and/or physical impairments. This disability is very common in the United States with around 3 million cases a year. While treatment can help IDD, it cannot be fully cured. Since it is a chronic condition, it can last for years or for a lifetime. From ages 6 to 60+ the intellectual disability aspect is at its highest in United States’ cases. Most cases however, take place before the age of 18 as that is when the development stages for people occur.  People with this disability usually have trouble with things like language, mobility, self-help and living on their own. According to the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, “an individual has an intellectual disability if he/she meets three criteria specifically: IQ below 70-75, limitations in areas (usually cognitive and social), the condition starts showing before the age of 18-during the developmental stages of life.”

This disability can be caused by injury, disease or a problem in the brain. For many people, the cause of their disability is unknown. On the Special Olympics website, the organization gives a list of causes of this disability, which are: Downs Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, birth defects and infections which can all happen prior to a baby’s birth or during. The most common causes for this disability are: genetic, complications during a pregnancy, problems during birth, or diseases/toxic exposure.

The daily lives of people dealing with this disability can be increasingly difficult depending on how great an impact their disability has on their brain. According to Arc, an organization specializing with helping this disability, states that children can have difficulty in eating or dressing or finding ways to do something on their own. For students, it may take them a little longer to learn something in school that would be more than the average struggle. As adults, it varies. Some people with this disability are able to lead individual lives with relatively little to no help while some need supports or caretakers nearby in their community.

The developmental arena of this disability can cause issues prior to the age of 22. The main difference is the age the disability starts to manifest itself to the person. In most cases, if people are younger and notice it can usually be intellectual but for some, they notice this trend a little later. There are some specific qualifications provided by the Developmental Disabilities Act that sets forth the difference of an intellectual versus developmental disability. These qualifications involve: an impairment, or combination of impairments, occurs before the age of 22, likely to continue indefinitely, substantial functional limitations, and reflects a need for supports of some kind.

The main difference with these two even though they are categorized under one disability, is that they have major differences in the time of onset and severity of symptoms. Developmental Disabilities are evident if a person has three or more major life activities which is where this one differs mostly from Intellectual disabilities. The symptoms and day-to-day signs can range anywhere from mild to severe, depending on the person.


References: http://www.specialolympics.org/Sections/Who_We_Are/What_Is_Intellectual_Disability.aspx



What does IDD mean to you?

Bryant said that it affects his speech, and makes him not want to talk as much as other people. Because of this, he often uses hand gestures to communicate with others.

What do you want me to know about you?

Bryant said he likes sports, especially UGA’s football team because he thinks they’re good players. He also loves his girlfriend, Socorro Walker, who he affectionately calls his “boo.”

What is the best way to communicate with you?

Echoing his friend Kevin, Bryant said he wants people to talk to him just like they would to anybody else.

How do you want the community to respond to your disability?

Bryant said he is approachable, and he hopes people will start up conversations with him like they might with anyone else.