Children with severe and/or multiple disabilities may exhibit any number or combination of the following characteristics depending on the severity of cognitive delay and/or additional disabilities such as vision and hearing impairments, communication difficulties and physical disabilities affecting mobility, coordination, and/or fine motor skills.
Have a distorted perception of the world
Appear to be withdrawn and isolated
Lack the ability to communicate with his or her environment in a meaningful way
Lack curiosity and be deprived of many of the basic motivations
Have medical problems that lead to serious developmental delays
Be defensive to being touched
Have extreme difficulty in establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationship with others
Lack the ability to anticipate future events or the results of their actions
Have extreme difficulty in establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships with others
Have feeding difficulties and/or unusual sleep patterns
Exhibit frustrations, discipline problems, and delays in social, emotional, and cognitive development because of the inability to communicate
Limited speech or communication;
Difficulty in basic physical mobility;
Trouble generalizing skills from one situation to another; and
A need for support in major life activities (e.g., domestic, leisure, community use, vocational).