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A Basic Guide to Developmental Disabilities

We're fortunate to live in a world in which scientific research has led to huge advancements in our understanding of things like developmental disabilities. And yet, in spite of our rapidly expanding knowledge, lack of awareness and misconceptions about developmental disabilities continue to persist among the general public. Here, we'll define exactly what a developmental disability is, as well as briefly outline a few of the more well-known examples.

What Is a Developmental Disability?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) define developmental disabilities as "a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas." Developmental disabilities can be caused by a variety of different factors, including genetics, drug or alcohol use during pregnancy, or physical trauma or illness.

Common Developmental Disabilities

Developmental disabilities are more common than you might think. According to a 2019 study, almost one in six children has a developmental disability. This includes conditions such as cerebral palsy, fragile X syndrome, Tourette syndrome, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, intellectual disability, and others.

What Do Developmental Disabilities Look Like?

Developmental disabilities manifest in different ways, and they vary in severity and the degree to which they impact a person's day-to-day life. Children with developmental disabilities may be slower to achieve certain developmental milestones (such as language, communication, or motor skills). They may also experience difficulty with behavioral or social norms, or have problems with learning and problem-solving.

Envision Unlimited has been dedicated to helping people with disabilities live happy, fulfilled lives in their communities since 1948. Our offerings, which include day programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities; mental health, residential, and employment services; specialized foster care, and accredited applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy for children, are designed to address the unique needs of each of our clients—regardless of age, background, or ability.

Our services are grounded in a spirit of advocacy and empowerment. We believe that all individuals are capable of living successful lives if given the right opportunities. Contact us today to see how we can help you!