Dual Diagnosis

Does My Child have a Dual Diagnosis?

If a child has a developmental disability and a mental health diagnosis, he or she has a dual diagnosis.

In Kansas, a Developmental Disability means that a person has:

  • Intellectual Disability (Mental Retardation)

Or that they have:

  • A severe chronic disability that is a result of a mental or physical impairment that is present before the age of 22 and is likely to continue indefinitely.

This disability must cause a substantial limitation in at least 3 of the following areas:

  • Self-care
  • Receptive and expressive language development and use
  • Learning
  • Adapting
  • Mobility
  • Self-direction
  • Capacity for independent living
  • Economic self-sufficiency

Mental Health

When a person is having emotional trouble or behavior challenges, he or she may go to a doctor, a counselor, a social worker, or another such mental health practitioner for help.

Many types of emotional troubles or behavior challenges are common enough that they have been given a name. These names are types of diagnoses.

If your child has seen a doctor or other mental health practitioner about emotional or behavioral challenges, he or she might have a mental health diagnosis.

If you are unsure, ask the person who met with your child or contact the agency where you took your child. They should tell you if they assigned a diagnosis to your child.

Examples of mental health diagnoses are:

  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Phobias
  • Eating disorders

(These are the most common mental health disorders of childhood. However, this is just a short list of examples; there are many more diagnoses.) (from Explanation of Dual Diagnoses and Description of Service Providers)


The contents of this Families Together, Inc.'s website were developed under grants from the US Department of Education (#H328M150027) and the Department of Health and Human Services (H84MC09487). However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Departments of Education or Health and Human Services, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government Project Officers, Kristen Rhoads or LaQuanta Smalley.