Physical Health

Adults with intellectual or other developmental disabilities often have complex or difficult-to-treat medical conditions, either as part of their developmental disability or a co-morbid condition. Many individuals have difficulties expressing their symptoms or pain and in sharing their medical history. This section of our website was developed to help focus on some of these particular physical health issues, including the Health Check tool.

These tools help primary care clinicians, such as family physicians, internists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, in implementing the recommendations from the 2018 Canadian consensus guidelines on the primary care of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in to clinical practice.

The Health Check tool (link) has been adapted for the care of adults with IDD. The Health Check Expanded Explanations (link) offers detailed specifics on key medical or mental health conditions that are more prevalent in this population or may pose greater concerns.

The tools in this section are recommended in the  Physical Health section of the guidelines and include several tools on epilepsy as well as health monitoring tools.

Individuals with IDD deserve the same quality of preventive health care as others, and so the preventive care actions applicable to the general population should also be done for adults with IDD, e.g., immunizations, cancer screenings, cholesterol checks.

Also, see Health Watch Tables that highlight specific differences for selected genetic syndromes.


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