Individual Planning Becomes an Inherent Part of the Definition of "Developmental Disability"
The Developmental Disabilities Act of 1984 recognized the importance of linking service delivery to individual planning and coordination. P.L. 98-527 stated that "a developmental disability is a severe, chronic disability which… reflects the person's need for a combination and sequence of special interdisciplinary or generic care, treatment or other services which are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated."
This definition was linked to the requirement that each person receiving services under the Act must have an individual habilitation plan.
Developmental Disabilities Office
Broadening of the "Developmental Period"
Looking Ahead Booklet
In 1983 the AAMR expanded the definition of the developmental period from conception to age 18 (Grossman 1983 cited by Smith 382). This meant that persons with mental retardation resulting from prenatal factors were made eligible for services.
In the 1984 amendments to the Developmental Disabilities Act extended the upper age of onset to 22 years.