As many of my readers may know I have job in the medical field. I work in a behavioral ward where many that live there have developmental disabilities. What is a developmental disability?? Individuals with a developmental disability have chronic condition due to a mental or physical impairment. This type of disability often causes individuals living with them problems with daily life. Problem areas may be language, mobility, learning, self-help or independent living skills
Among the most common developmental disabilities are:
- fragile x syndrome that is believed to be the cause behind autism and intellectual disabilities
- down syndrome that is caused by an individual being born with extra copy of chromosome 21 The extra set of chromosomes affects the development of the body and brain, causing physical and mental challenges
- Pervasive Developmental Disorders or PDD are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges
- Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders or FASD conditions occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. FASD is 100% preventable.
- Cerebral palsy affects a person's ability to move and maintain balance and posture. This is the most common motor disability in childhood
- Intellectual disability or mental retardation is defined as an IQ below 70 along with limitations in adaptive functioning and onset before the age of 18.
I adopted and raised a young lady who has MI. MI was formally known as MR. MI is an easier way using the term mental impairment rather than mentally retarded. My daughter has been behind in every step of her development. Since a young child I would see the other children grow and develop and yet my little girl struggled. Now in her mid 20's she still finds it hard to do things on her own. She will never live alone and her sisters and brothers are always there to help their dad and me with her care. She to me is a beautiful young lady who can take on the world and knock out the stars and often does. She is active in church, in groups that her aunt belongs to and works hard to belong and do the things she wants to.
As her mother I work hard to advocate for disability rights. We can all help others understand. By sharing resources and sharing stories from the developmental disability community. As bloggers we can take part in advocating others and spreading the word about developmental disabilities. In 1987 President Reagan requested that the month of March be Developmental Disability Awareness month and that "according to fellow citizens with disabilities both encouragements and opportunities that are needed to lead productive lives to achieve their full potential."
Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is a time set aside each year to raise community awareness about individuals with developmental disabilities. People with developmental disabilities are an important part of our community and have many gifts and talents to contribute. They are often in more danger in our communities than any danger that they offer us. People with disabilities are four to ten times more likely to be assaulted, robbed or sexually attacked than people who are not disabled. Women with developmental disabilities are 70% more likely to be sexually assaulted.
It is simple to take part in this awareness. Simply take some time and learn what a developmental disability is and how they affect individuals differently. If you are blogger take time and share a post on your blog. Support the efforts of individuals with disabilities who are striving to lead full lives, work at rewarding jobs and participate in all aspects of life.