Little boy with hands under chin
Parents who have just learned that their child has a disability look everywhere for information to make sense of what can be a bewildering and emotional time in their lives. Many of the medical descriptions available in textbooks and on the net seem to be written about “cases”, “patients” or specimens, with the primary focus on deficits and failure. The children we love and care for – with all that they can do – often get left out of the picture.

In this section, we give an overview of a number of commonly diagnosed conditions to help you to understand what you might expect to encounter as your child grows and develops. We have made each description as child-friendly as possible, but sometimes the information can still overwhelm. Hold on to your child in your mind as you wade through these pages. He or she is so much more than a condition!

Developmental Disabilities include disabilities such as Mental Handicap, Down Syndrome Fragile X Syndrome, Prada-Willi Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Speech and Language Disorders, Autism to name a few.

(This section has been adapted from the Developmental Disabilities section of’s web site.)