Emotional Wellbeing


Mental Health


Mandy Kloppers

Four Types of Disabilities You Should Know About


What’s the difference between a learning disability and a developmental disability? How can you tell the two apart?

If you want to learn more about the types of disabilities, you’ve come to the right place!

This article will give a brief description of disability types and help you tell the differences between them. Keep reading as we take a look at some of the most common types of disabilities.

What Are Disabilities?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines a disability as “any condition of the body or mind that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities and interact with the world around them.”

Disabilities come from many different varieties and different levels of impairment. Depending on your level of disability, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability. To learn more visit, SweetLaw.com.

Physical Disabilities

A physical disability is an impairment or long-term loss of a person’s function. This does not include injuries that you can make a full recovery from. A person has a physical disability when they have difficulty with functioning, mobility, stamina, or dexterity.

People with physical disabilities will not be able to sit, stand, walk, or use their hands like other people. There are two major categories of physical disabilities: musculoskeletal disabilities and neuromuscular disabilities.

A musculoskeletal disability includes loss of limbs, deformed limbs, muscular dystrophy, and Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Neuromuscular disabilities include cerebral palsy, Spina Bifida, stroke, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries.

People with physical disabilities have accessibility issues and may not be able to perform daily tasks like dressing themselves or eating without help.

Mental Disabilities

These days mental disabilities are commonly referred to as psychiatric disabilities. A person is considered to have a psychiatric disability when a mental impairment limits one or more major life activities, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Mental impairment can include mental illness and emotional impairments such as anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, bipolar disorder, and major depression.

With psychiatric disabilities, it is difficult to determine who has a disability just by looking at them because there is no clear way people look when they have mental illness or impairment.

Developmental Disabilities

Conditions that impair behavior, language, learning, and physical development are classified as developmental disabilities. These conditions begin in childhood during the developmental period and may last the person’s lifetime.

Developmental disabilities may affect a person’s day-to-day functioning, and people with developmental disabilities often require assistance.

It’s important to remember that each child develops at their own pace, and just because your child may be slower in development doesn’t necessarily mean they have a disability. Developmental milestones can give you a general guideline for where your child should be as they age.

Learning Disabilities

People who have difficulty understanding spoken or written language, have a hard time doing math, coordinating their movements, or directing their attention to a subject have learning disabilities. As many as eight to ten percent of American school-age children have learning disabilities.

Special education can help your child correct and compensate for learning disabilities. Speech and language therapists can also help play a role.

Many Types of Disabilities

Physical disabilities are commonly pictured in our culture but there are many types of disabilities we should be aware of. Learning more about the other classifications of disabilities can help you develop empathy for people living with disabilities.

At the end of the day, we all want to feel seen and valued whether we have a disability or not. If you enjoyed this article, read our other articles on mental health and check out our mental health resources.

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