Medical IDs for People with Developmental Disabilities

Some people with developmental disabilities can have difficulty communicating or be unaware of important information such as their full name, emergency contact, allergies, or health conditions.

In these instances, it can be extremely beneficial to wear a medical ID to convey this information.

Here’s a quick rundown:

Different Types of Developmental Disabilities

“Developmental disability” is a broad term that includes conditions resulting from physical and/or mental impairments diagnosed before the age of 22 that continue throughout a person’s life.

The most common type of developmental disability is intellectual disabilities followed by cerebral palsy and then autism. Other types of developmental disabilities include hearing loss, vision impairment, learning disorders, and Down syndrome.

It is important to note that each person with a developmental disability will have different abilities. Always presume competence when communicating with someone with a developmental disability. Difficulty communicating verbally does not mean that a person has difficulty comprehending.

People with developmental disabilities may communicate using a variety of AAC (augmentative and alternative communication devices) ranging from sign language to flashcards to letterboards to iPads or other tablets.

Benefits of Wearing a Medical ID

If someone with a developmental disability has difficulty communicating, wearing a medical ID makes it possible to convey important information to first responders, medical professionals, or even bystanders.

For instance, if they are involved in a car accident, their medical ID can inform first responders of any pertinent health conditions or allergies. This is crucial if the person is separated from their family, friend, or legal guardian.

Some children with autism display eloping behaviors. If they are nonverbal, they may be unable to communicate important information to first responders such as their home address or emergency contact.

What to Engrave on a Medical ID

The most important information to include on a medical ID is the person’s name, emergency contact (including name and phone number), major allergies, and relevant health conditions.

At American Medical ID, the friendly customer service representatives can help to determine exactly what to include if any questions arise. Different types of medical IDs including bracelets, necklaces, and tags are available in a wide range of styles and colors.

A person with sensory processing disorder might find it uncomfortable to wear a bracelet but might tolerate wearing a necklace, while someone else might enjoy wearing a bright and colorful bracelet.

Carefully consider the preferences of the person with a developmental disability to ensure that they are willing to wear their medical ID. Keeping it on can save their life!


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