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Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.
Johann von Goethe

Developmental Age vs. Chronological Age

The “developmental (or functional) age” concept is a disability-world paradigm that should make us halt in our tracks. Many children and adults with disabilities are routinely graded against a “developmental scale.” If a person’s abilities are substantially lower than the “norm,” he may be saddled with a “developmental age.” His chronological age—his real age—is dismissed as irrelevant. From then on, services, education, and even the way he’s treated by family members may be based on his developmental age. Yikes!

For example, if a 15-year-old has a developmental age of 10, he may be treated like a 10-year-old, at home, in school, and in other environments. This sets up low expectations, and his opportunities to be a 15-year-old are limited or nonexistent! So is there any wonder...Click here to continue.