Developmental disabilities begin anytime during the developmental period and can last throughout a person's lifetime. Most developmental disabilities begin before a baby is born, but some can happen after birth due to injury, infection or other factors.
Most developmental disabilities are thought to be caused by a complex mix of factors, including:
For some developmental disabilities, such as fetal alcohol syndrome, which is caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy, we know the cause. But for most, we don't.
The following are some examples of what we know about specific developmental disabilities.
The short answer is nearly everyone.Developmental disabilities occur among all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Recent estimates in the United States show that about one in six, or about 15%, of children ages 3-17 have one or more developmental disabilities.