Education - Special Education, School Psychology and Early Childhood Studies
Impact of Disabilities: HOME
Medical Issues and ID:
Some conditions related to ID also result in medical
People with ID are at greater risk for developing health
People with Down Syndrome often develop medical
problems as their lives progress.
Medical Problems and Down Syndrome
Some common health problems associated with DS include:
o Vision problems
o Hearing loss
o Heart defects
o Gastrointestinal defects
o Thyroid problems
People with DS are less likely to have:
People with DS are more likely to have
o Poor dental care
o Poor oral hygiene
Accessing Specialized Health Care Parents of children with disabilities often experience
difficulty finding appropriate health care and health care
Particularly, problems are noted by families of children with
DS, autism, and health impairments
Common problems are:
o Getting referrals and appointments
o Finding providers w/ expertise in the area of need
o Coordination of services
Difficulty with accessing care is consistent across disability
o Autism- 2 to 3 times higher
o ID- twice as high
o Health impairments- fewest problems reported
Families with more than one child needing specialized care
report more access problems.
Medical Issues Related to Aging and ID
Life expectancy for people with ID has increased.
o In the 20s and 30s, life expectancy was about 20 years
o By the 1980s, life expectancy had increased to 60
Adults with ID have similar mortality rates as their age peers
to age 30-34.
o After age 30-34, the mortality rate for people with ID
Estimate of the number of people with developmental
disabilities 60 years old and older in the US are around 525k
o This number is expected to double by 2030 Adults with ID have more medical problems than their age
o That number increases with the severity of the disability
Adults with ID are at a greater risk for developing psychiatric
and mental disorders. (5 times greater)
Diagnosis can be problematic.
o Complicated by poor verbal skills.