Developmental Disability Determination

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In Colorado, there are two Developmental Disability (DD) determination processes. Individuals younger than five (5) years of age must meet the criteria for a developmental delay. Individuals five (5) years of age or older must meet the criteria for a developmental disability.

Developmental Delay Criteria (Younger than age 5)
Developmental Delay Documentation

Records showing your child’s developmental delay in at least one skill area (e.g. motor skills, speech) or medical records documenting medical conditions or syndromes which typically result in delays (e.g. Down Syndrome, low birth weight)

In Colorado, a developmental delay is defined as

Developmental Delay means the slowed or impaired development of a child who meets one or more of the following:

1. A child who is less than five (5) years of age at risk of having a developmental disability because of the presence of one or more of the following:

        • Chromosomal conditions associated with mental retardation,
        • Congenital syndromes and conditions associated with delay in development,
        • Metabolic disorders,Prenatal and perinatal infections and significant medical problems,
        • Low birth weight infants weighing less than 1200 grams, or
        • Postnatal acquired problems known to result in significant developmental delays.

    2. A child less than five (5) years of age who is delayed in development by 1.5 standard deviations or more in one or more of the following areas:

      • Communication,
      • Self-help,
      • Social-emotional,
      • Motor skills,
        Sensory development, or
      • Cognition

3. A child less than three (3) years of age who lives with one or both parents who has a developmental disability.

Developmental Disability Criteria (Age 5 and older)
Developmental Disability Documentation

  • Evidence of a substantial disability prior to age 22
  • Evidence of a neurological condition resulting in either intellectual or adaptive behavior limitations
  • Current I.Q. scores from Psychological or Cognitive Testing such as Stanford-Binet or Wechsler
  • Current Adaptive Behavior Testing such as Vineland

The Colorado Rules effective 8/1/2013 (10 CCR 2505-10 Section 8.600) define Developmental Disability as a disability that:

A. Is manifested before the person reaches twenty-two (22) years of age;

B. Constitutes a substantial disability to the affected individual, as demonstrated by the criteria below at C.1 and/or C.2; and

C. Is attributable to mental retardation or related conditions, which include cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism or other neurological conditions, when such conditions result in either impairment of general intellectual functioning or adaptive behavior similar to that of a person with mental retardation.

1. Impairment of “general intellectual functioning” means that the person has been determined to have a Full Scale intellectual quotient which is two or more standard deviations below the mean (70 or less assuming a scale with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15).

a. A secondary score comparable to the General Abilities Index for a Wechsler intelligence scale that is two or more standard deviations below the mean may be used only if a Full Scale score cannot be appropriately derived.

b. Score shall be determined using a norm referenced standardized test of intellectual functioning comparable to a comprehensively administered Wechsler intelligence scale or Stanford-Binet intelligence scales, as revised or current to the date of administration. The test shall be administered by a licensed psychologist or a school psychologist.

c. When determining the intellectual quotient equivalent score, a maximum confidence level of ninety percent (90%) shall be applied to the Full Scale score to determine if the interval includes a score of 70 or less, and shall be interpreted to the benefit of the applicant being determined to have a Developmental Disability.

2. “Adaptive behavior similar to that of a person with mental retardation” means that the person has an overall adaptive behavior Composite or equivalent score that is two or more standard deviations below the mean.

a. Measurements shall be determined using a norm-referenced, standardized assessment of adaptive behaviors that is appropriate to the person’s living environment and comparable to a comprehensively administered Vineland scale of adaptive behavior, as revised or current to the date of administration. The assessment shall be administered and determined by a professional qualified to administer the assessment used.

b. When determining the overall adaptive behavior score, a maximum confidence level of 90 percent shall be applied to the overall adaptive behavior score to determine if the interval range includes a score of 70 or less and shall be interpreted to the benefit of the applicant being determined to have a developmental disability.

D. A person shall not be determined to have a Developmental Disability if it can be demonstrated such conditions are attributable to only a physical or sensory impairment or a mental illness.

Birth through Adulthood (Developmental & Intellectual Disabilities):
For persons with developmental & intellectual disabilities in Fremont and Chaffee counties.
719-458-0873 | Jennifer Ruhe | CCB Case Management Director