A developmental disability is a permanent cognitive and / or physical impairment that usually occurs in the early years of life. The term is used to refer to a range of conditions including autistic spectrum disorder, spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, visual and hearing impairments, muscular dystrophy and epilepsy. These disabilities may affect the brain and/or the body and the skills people use daily. These conditions make every day dental care a challenge, and many patients with disabilities receive dental treatment from experienced providers in hospitals, government facilities and nursing homes. Others may opt for care from private practitioners in their communities.