What is a developmental disability?
These are physical and mental conditions that present themselves in the first 18 years of a person's life. Developmental disabilities vary and can be physical, mental, or genetic disorder. The most common types are hearing or speech difficulties, learning and intellectual development disabilities such as mental retardation, Down syndrome, and attention deficit disorder, and other neurological impairment like cerebral palsy. Over the years, more and more non-profit organizations rose to answer the growing needs of people with such problems.
The most common intellectual disabilities: Down syndrome, autism, and mental retardation
Intellectual developmental disabilities affect a person's ability to learn, develop motor skills, and understand logic. Affected individuals find communicating, doing basic chores, and making sound decisions difficult. Those with mental retardation find it hard to develop language skills. Simple tasks such as eating, tying a shoelace, and even hair combing can also be extremely difficult for these people.
People with autism, on the other hand, commonly have communication development difficulties and are often challenged by social interaction. Persons with this type of disorder are about about routines and doing the same things repetitively. Autistics often develop a world of their own because of their inability to relate to the normal perception of other people. When diagnosed and treated early, autistics stand a good chance of living a normal life with proper medication. They can even hold employment and later on get married and have children.
This does not say that people with developmental disabilities are not capable of learning at all. With help from people surrounding them and from professionals, they can live better lives.
Hope for people with developmental disabilities
Today, people with great concern for individuals who need special care continue to provide employment and recreational and medical services. They also foster family care to affected individuals. These non-profit organizations create opportunities for persons with disabilities to help improve their lives. They also educate people on how to cope with people with impairments.
Some non-profit organizations offer a variety of active treatment services. Every single patient receives an individualized health care plan. These services are performed on a regular basis and adjusted accordingly depending on the progress of a patient.
The therapies are as follows:
1. Physical therapy. PT services help patients develop mobility by means of various hands-on techniques. This may involve exercises and use of adaptive equipment.
2. Occupational therapy. This type of therapy helps patients do normal everyday chores through purposeful activities.
3. Speech therapy. This helps with the development of language and communication skills.
There are many other services tailor to help adults and children with disabilities. Now, parents and families of mentally and intellectually challenged individuals have a support group. They do not have to live mediocre lives because of their disabilities. Proper medical care, moral support, and the opportunity to live normal lives will help these people cope with the rest of the world.