medical IDs for multiple sclerosis

Medical IDs for Developmental Disabilities

The confidence to live with developmental disabilities

Around 17% of children aged three to 17 have one or more developmental disabilities. This means that one in six children are living with developmental disabilities such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cerebral palsy, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

While many people living with developmental disabilities can still lead active and full lives, they typically need special health programs and additional at home care to help them stay well and thrive. In medical and other emergencies, individuals caring for people with developmental disabilities may also need help.

A MedicAlert medical ID for developmental disabilities can provide this additional help and peace of mind.

How MedicAlert protects those living with developmental disabilities

One thing you shouldn’t worry about is what could happen if there’s an emergency. MedicAlert’s protection plans offer benefits that extend beyond the ID, providing safety and peace of mind for people living with developmental disabilities, their families and caregivers.

24/7 Emergency Response

Our team provides first responders the information they need to provide fast, accurate care.

Digital Health Profile

All your vital information, all in one place for you and your caregiver.

Emergency Contact Notification

In an emergency, we connect families so that no one is alone in a crisis.

Patient Instructions

Share the information that’s important to your care, such as use of rescue medications or contraindication for tests like MRIs.

Pair a medical ID for developmental disabilities with the protection plan that’s right for you.

What exactly are developmental disabilities?

Developmental disabilities are impairments in a child’s physical, learning, cognitive (thinking, reasoning, or remembering), language, and behavioral development. These impairments begin during the child’s developmental period and may affect day-to-day functioning. Developmental disabilities often last throughout a person’s lifetime. 

There are six major types of developmental disabilities including ADHD, ASD, cerebral palsy, hearing impairment, intellectual disability, and vision impairment.

ADHD is characterized by uncontrollable impulsive behaviors, trouble paying attention, and being overly active. One of the most common mental disorders in children, ADHD affects an estimated 8.4% of children and 2.5% of adults. More boys live with ADHD than girls, and the condition causes distress and/or problems functioning at school, with friends, and at home. 

ASD typically begins before the age of three. In some cases, this developmental disability is caused by a genetic condition. In others, the cause is unknown. People living with ASD may look different, they may have advanced communication skills, or they may be nonverbal. Some people living with ASD might need around the clock help with day-to-day activities. Others may live and work on their own without the need for support. 

Cerebral palsy is a developmental disability that affects muscle tone, movement, balance, and posture. Cerebral palsy is often discovered in infancy or during the preschool years. The severity of cerebral palsy varies. Some people living with cerebral palsy can walk and have no apparent intellectual disabilities, while others need assistance with walking and do have intellectual disabilities. Cerebral palsy can also be accompanied by blindness, deafness, or epilepsy—a brain disorder that causes seizures. 

Hearing impairment (or hearing loss) can occur when there is a problem in the hearing part of the brain, a problem with the nerves coming from the ears, or when there is a problem with one or more parts of the ear. A person living with a hearing impairment may be able to hear some sounds or nothing at all. Some people are born with a hearing impairment, while others experience hearing loss later in life. Hearing loss can also run in families. 

Intellectual disability often results from a number of conditions that can develop before birth. Examples include fetal alcohol syndrome disorder, infections, and genetic and chromosomal conditions such as Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome. While intellectual disability usually develops before birth, it could develop any time before the age of 18. In these cases, intellectual disability may be caused by disease, injury, or a problem in the brain. A person living with intellectual disability may learn at a slower pace than others, function at a lower level than others in daily life, have trouble taking care of themselves, or have difficulty communicating their wants and needs. 

Vision impairment is not common among children. When it does occur, more than half of all cases are in children living with other developmental disabilities. A person living with visual impairment does not see objects as clearly as usual. Unlike other types of vision problems that can be corrected with eye glasses or surgery, vision impairment means that a person’s eyesight cannot be corrected to a normal level.  

What causes developmental disabilities?

Most developmental disabilities are believed to be caused by factors such as genetic or chromosomal abnormalities; exposure to high levels of environmental toxins (i.e. lead); smoking and drinking during pregnancy (fetal alcohol syndrome); prenatal health; or complications during birth. In some cases, the mother may have an infection during pregnancy, or the infant might contract an infection very early in life. 

What are the symptoms and complications of developmental disabilities?

Symptoms of developmental disabilities are numerous, varied, and based on the specific condition. Symptoms can range from relatively mild cases of ADHD or autism to severe intellectual impairment. In some cases, symptoms may be so slight, that the underlying disability may not be visible to the naked eye. This can pose a number of a safety issues in an emergency situation. A MedicAlert medical ID can help. 

In a medical or other emergency a MedicAlert medical ID for developmental disability can let emergency responders know that your child or loved one is living with a developmental disability. When your child or loved one can’t communicate, a MedicAlert medical ID can be their voice.

What to engrave on MedicAlert medical IDs for developmental disabilities:

MedicAlert offers free custom engraving on all our medical ID products. Engravings on medical IDs for developmental disabilities should include any critical medical information that can protect and save lives in an accident or medical emergency, for example:

  • Type of developmental disability or disabilities
  • Emergency contact information
  • Current medications
medical IDs for developmental disabilities

Sample engraving. Consult our team if you need help engraving your medical ID for developmental disabilities.

How do you diagnose developmental disabilities?

Developmental disabilities are usually diagnosed by specialists such as pediatricians, psychologists, and neurologists. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends developmental monitoring throughout childhood to ensure that the child is meeting typical developmental milestones or skills that most children reach by a certain age. These milestones should be reached in speaking, learning, behaving, moving, and playing. Parents, grandparents, early childhood education providers, and other caregivers often play an active role in developmental monitoring.

To diagnose developmental disabilities, a specialist typically administers cognitive testing to assess intelligence (cognitive abilities) and how a child functions in day-to-day activities (adaptive skills). Other diagnostic tools include a full physical exam, hearing and vision tests, and a newer brain scan known as the Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid (NEBA) System. This noninvasive test measures theta and beta brain waves. Theta waves are typically produced when you are sleeping or dreaming, or awake, but in a deeply relaxed state. Beta waves are generated when the brain is actively engaged in mental activities.

How do you treat, manage, and live with developmental disabilities?

While there is no cure for developmental disabilities, regular treatment can help manage symptoms. Pharmaceutical treatments such as Adderall and Ritalin exist for ADHD. Other developmental disabilities can be managed with physical, speech, and occupational therapy. 

As part of any lifelong treatment plan for people living with developmental disabilities, a MedicAlert medical ID can help keep your child or loved one safe in a medical emergency or other medical situations. Add a MedicAlert protection plan, and you will gain an additional layer of protection that can alert emergency responders and ER doctors of your child or loved one’s condition.

How medical IDs for developmental disabilities combined with MedicAlert  Membership provide peace of mind

A person living with developmental disabilities can have one or more conditions. Collectively, these conditions could affect communication, cause wandering and confusion, or hinder vision and hearing. 

Parents and caregivers of people living with disabilities can’t be in all places at all times. A MedicAlert medical ID can. If a person living with a disability finds themselves alone or in a medical emergency, a MedicAlert medical ID can help emergency responders and others get in touch with caregivers, while relaying critical information about their condition to emergency responders, doctors, and hospital staff.

  • We’re your voice:  If you can’t speak for yourself due to a medical emergency, your ID will speak for you – informing others about your developmental disabilities and any medications you’re taking. 

  • 24/7 emergency protection:  In an emergency, the MedicAlert team will relay all of your critical medical information to first responders, no matter where or when your emergency happens.

  • Always connected:  You should never be alone in an emergency. That’s why MedicAlert will reach out to your designated contacts if you are unable to do so.

  • Live with peace of mind and confidence:  MedicAlert will be there for you every step of the way. You’ll have the confidence and freedom to live your life with developmental disabilities, knowing we’ve got you covered.
DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. The information in this article is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider for any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.