General FAQ's on Developmental Disabilities (DD)

What is a developmental disability?

The term developmental disability (DD) refers to a group of severe, chronic conditions attributable to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.

You can learn more about developmental disabilities by searching for articles on this website.

Who can receive DD services in Virginia? 

In Virginia, the system of services and supports helps people with developmental disabilities from birth through adulthood. 

The system is made up of individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, service providers, advocacy organizations, public agencies, and nonprofit partners. 

The types of services and supports that a person receives depends on their individual needs and age-related developmental concerns.

How do I get help?

For many people, the first step in getting help is connecting with their local Behavioral Health Authority (BHA)or Community Services Board (CSB).  The majority of services are accessed at the local level.

To find your local CSB / BHA, either search on this website by putting in CSB in the topic box and your city, county or Zip Code or visit the Virginia Community Services Board Directory.

How do I get help for my infant or toddler?

For families with children under the age of three, Early Intervention Services can help connect families to services and supports for children who are not developing as expected or who have a medical condition that can delay normal development. Some of the supports and services also help parents and other caregivers know how to find ways to help their child learn everyday activities. These supports and services are available for all eligible children and their families regardless of the family’s ability to pay.  

For more information to help your infant or toddler, please contact the Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia.

How do I get help for someone who is older than three?  

Most people find the help they need for school aged-children through local educational programs, community-based supports, and state assistance.

Your local school system offers different types of services and supports to help a child with DD receive educational benefits from school.   For information on connecting with your local school system’s special education program, please visit the Virginia Department of Education, Virginia School Directories.

To learn more about how families are supporting each other in locating g community supports and resources, visit the Individual and Family Support Program (IFSP) webpage. For information on supports for children with special health care needs, please visit Virginia Department of Health Care Connection for Children and Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT)

What are Community Services Boards/Behavioral Health Authorities?

Local Community Service Boards (CSB) also known as Behavioral Health Authorities (BHA) provide access to community assistance for people who are in crisis or who have mental health needs. For information on how to contact your local CSB/BHA please search on this website by putting in CSB or BHA in the topic box and your city, county or Zip Code or visit the Virginia Community Services Board Directory.

To learn more about state assistance for people of all ages with DD, please see the Waivers information section of this website.