Developmental Disability


To define developmental disability and outline the requirements for satisfying the PDD program eligibility criteria.


To meet the eligibility criteria for a developmental disability and be eligible for PDD Program funding, the Individual applying for services must meet all three of the following conditions:

  • Childhood Onset: the developmental disability must be evident prior to the Individual’s 18th birthday;
  • Intellectual Capacity: there is evidence of significant limitations in intellectual capacity;
  • Adaptive Skills: there is evidence of significant limitations in adaptive skills.

Intellectual capacity

The PDD program determines significant limitation in intellectual capacity based on a formal psychological assessment that includes one or more recognized individually administered general intelligence (IQ) tests.

A significant limitation in intellectual capacity is an intellectual capacity that:

  • on a full-scale score is 2 standard deviations or more below the mean for a standardized intellectual assessment (an IQ of 70 or lower); or
  • is so diminished the Individual is unable to complete a standardized intellectual assessment.

Adaptive skills

Adaptive skills are those skills required to perform daily living tasks such as self-care, interaction with others and participation in community activities.

The PDD program has identified twenty-four adaptive skill areas. A significant limitation in adaptive skills is the inability to perform 6 or more adaptive skills:

  • without the assistance of another person;
  • at a level comparable to a peer without a disability.

Developmental Disability Guidelines

Specific provincial Developmental Disabilities Guidelines have been established for use by PDD staff in determining a significant limitation in intellectual capacity and adaptive skills.

Legislative Changes

A regulation defining developmental disability came into effect August 1, 2009. Individuals who were actively receiving services from the PDD Program prior to August 1, 2009 will not be required to have their eligibility re-assessed.

Legislative Authority

Created: 2013-08-16
Modified: 2015-02-25
^ Back to Top