Helping Children Live to the Fullest by Understanding Developmental Disabilities

A diverse group of healthy children
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CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) is committed to helping children with developmental disabilities and their families get the support they need to thrive.

Developmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), hearing loss, cerebral palsy, Tourette syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and vision loss, create delays and/or impairments in daily activities that can affect a child’s health and well-being. Approximately 1 in 6 children in the United States have a developmental disability or other developmental delay. To best support children and their families, CDC is committed to

  • Monitoring common developmental disabilities;
  • Identifying factors that put children at risk for developmental disabilities and exploring possible causes;
  • Improving identification of developmental disabilities and delays; and
  • Providing technical assistance to partners wanting to implement programs to improve the care and quality of life for children with developmental disabilities and their caregivers.


A daughter on her mothers back

Looking to the Future

Children with developmental disabilities and their families often face personal, social, and financial challenges. NCBDDD and its partners work across systems to improve early identification of children with developmental disabilities and delays, connect these children and their families to medical, developmental, and behavioral intervention services, and provide tools and resources to help families facing these challenges. NCBDDD’s mission also includes understanding optimal development at each stage of life, from promoting school readiness to the health of teens with ASD, and helping families and children get the support they need.

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