Facts about intellectual and developmental disabilities


  1. Every year approximately 50,000 teens with autism age out of school-based services and enter adulthood.
  2. One-third of people with autism have epilepsy.
  3. Over half of people with autism also have intellectual disability.
  4. Nearly half of those with autism wander or bolt from safety.
  5. Autism affects 1 in 37 boys and 1 in 151 girls (2018)

Cerebral Palsy

  1. The most common motor disability in childhood.
  2. Cerebral Palsy affects over 500,000 people in the U.S.
  3. It is caused by brain damage while the baby is in utero, during labor and delivery, or shortly after birth. Premature infants are at a higher risk of developing cerebral palsy.
  4. There are many different kinds of cerebral palsy, based on the body parts affected, ranging in severity.
  5. Many have co-existing medical conditions, such as hearing and vision impairments, seizures, cognitive disability, ADHD, behavioral issues, feeding problems, scoliosis, and others.
  6. Most children with cerebral palsy have average or above average intelligence. Many adults with cerebral palsy work as doctors, attorneys, teachers and more.
  7. Most children with cerebral palsy have the same life expectancy as anyone else.

Down Syndrome

  1. Down Syndrome is one of the most common chromosome abnormalities in humans, affecting 1 in 1,000 babies born each year.
  2. These individuals have an increased risk of other health problems, including congenital heart defects, epilepsy, leukemia, thyroid diseases, and mental disorders.
  3. Half of those with Down Syndrome have obstructive sleep apnea.
  4. Hearing and vision disorders occur in more than half those with Down Syndrome.
  5. Hip dislocations may occur without trauma in up to a third of individuals.
  6. Growth is slower and they are at increased risk for obesity.
  7. Social skills are generally strong and behavior problems are not as common as in individuals with other intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Fragile X      

  1. Fragile X is a genetic disorder caused by changes in the fragile X mental retardation gene ( FMR1) that makes a protein necessary for normal brain development.
  2. Fragile X syndrome is the leading known cause of inherited intellectual disability. 
  3. Fragile X syndrome occurs in both males and females.
  4. Males with FXS usually have some degree of intellectual disability, ranging from mild to severe. Females with FXS can have normal intelligence or some degree of intellectual disability.
  5. Fragile X syndrome is the leading known genetic cause of autism. Approximately 2-6% of children with autism are diagnosed with Fragile X syndrome.
  6. Approximately 1 in 3,600 to 4,000 males and approximately 1 in 4,000 to 6,000 females have the full mutation of Fragile X.
  7. People with Fragile X syndrome (FXS) can cause a variety of behaviors like shyness, anxiety, difficulty making eye contact, and short attention spans.

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