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The Developmental Disabilities Resources for Healthcare Providers website is a collaboration of California-based information and programs on developmental disabilities. The primary goal of this website is to improve the health of persons with developmental disabilities in California. To this end, the website is designed to assist physicians and other healthcare providers in caring for persons with developmental disabilities. It is also designed to support consumers with developmental disabilities and their families in making informed health care decisions. The information in this site includes medical care information for specific syndromes and related issues, health provider educational opportunities, speaking opportunities, publications, and links to selected websites. This critical information is not otherwise readily accessible in one location.

In addition to primary care services to meet their general health needs, persons with developmental disabilities need specialty care to address problems specific to their unique conditions. The Developmental Disabilities Digest is a resource where primary care physicians can obtain information to assist them in providing this care and making appropriate referrals. This collection of key evidence-based clinical practice considerations synthesizes current information from hundreds of journal articles about the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions of people with developmental disabilities. Expert clinicians address a wide range of clinical issues, including health promotion and disease prevention strategies for genetic syndromes, acquired conditions, and specific health practices related to people with developmental disabilities. This critical information is not otherwise readily accessible in one location.
This project has been funded by a grant from the California Department of Developmental Services as part of its Wellness Initiative. The Digest is guided by an advisory committee of physicians with specialized expertise in developmental disabilities and implemented through a subcontract with University of California, San Diego School of Medicine Continuing Medical Education.

It is our goal that the Digest will support primary care physicians, healthcare providers, and consumers with developmental disabilities and their families in making informed health care decisions.

Department of Developmental Services

The California Department of Developmental Services (DDS), one of 13 departments comprising the California Health and Welfare Agency, is the department through which the State of California provides services and support to children and adults with developmental disabilities. These disabilities include mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism and related conditions.

With an annual budget of over 1.6 billion dollars and approximately 7,000 employees, DDS provides services and support for over 140,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities. In addition, DDS annually serves 14,000-16,000 children at risk for disability through its early intervention programs. These services are provided through state-operated developmental centers and contracts with twenty-one nonprofit agencies called regional centers.

The mission of DDS is to provide leadership and direction to help ensure that individuals with developmental disabilities have the opportunity to lead more independent, productive and normal lives as envisioned by the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act.

The vision statement of the Department is based on the following goals:

  • People with developmental disabilities will participate in valued ways with their friends, neighbors and co-workers in all areas of community life, with support being provided to enable them to have real choices in where to live, work and socialize.
  • Families are respected and supported in their role of primary decision-makers on behalf of their minor children.
  • Professionals join in partnership with families, supporting their cultural preferences, values and lifestyles.
  • Individuals with developmental disabilities who reside in the state developmental centers receive services appropriate to their needs that allow them to develop and achieve their full potential.
  • Individuals with developmental disabilities who reside in the community are supported in natural settings with opportunities to live in their own homes, to be involved in meaningful activities in integrated settings and to participate in community life.
  • The service system for persons with developmental disabilities supports rather than controls individuals and families, entering into partnerships that promote self-determination and interdependence. The outcomes for individuals merit continued public support.

This website does not provide advice regarding medical diagnosis or treatment for any individual case, and any opinions or statements contained on this website are not intended to serve as a standard of medical care. Users are encouraged to view the considerations presented in this document in light of evolving scientific information. This document is not intended for use by the layperson. Reproduction of this document may be done with proper credit given to California Department of Developmental Services.

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