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What is I/DD?

I/DDs are usually diagnosed in childhood. They can affect someone's personal, social, academic, or occupational abilities, meaning a person with I/DD may need support in one or more areas. Types of I/DD include:

  • Intellectual Developmental Disorder (Intellectual Disability)​
  • Communication Disorders​
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder​​
  • Motor Disorders ​
  • Specific Learning Disorder​
  • Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders
    • e.g. Cerebral Palsy or Down Syndrome

Person-First Language

Putting the person first and, if needed, the disability second, is a great way to show respect for people. So “person with a disability” is preferrable to “disabled person.” Some people may prefer identity-first language such as “autistic person” instead of “person with autism.”

Assume Competence

A strength-based approach suggests you assume competence and adjust or adapt your approach, vocabulary, tone, and intervention as you become aware of ability levels.



Handicapped or disabled person Person with a disability
Wheelchair bound A wheelchair user
Deformed Has a physical disability
Nonverbal Does not use words to communicate
High/low functioning Person who needs more/less support
Normal or typical Neurotypical
Mentally ill person Person with mental illness
Suffer from Person with

Human rights

People with disabilities have the same rights as everyone else. Even if someone doesn't use words to communicate, they still have the right to make choices and pursue their interests. Find out how YAI staff support Thais at home and around her neighborhood.