Each March we observe National Developmental Disability Awareness Month and raise awareness for those with developmental disabilities. This is also a great time to educate others on what a developmental disability is. At PediaPlex, we see a variety of different developmental disabilities so raising awareness for this is very near and dear to our hearts. We love being able to educate and raise awareness for our friends with disabilities! We encourage you to join us this March for National Developmental Disability Awareness Month and share information.
About Developmental Disabilities
According to the CDC, a developmental disability is a severe and long-term disability that can affect an individual in physical, learning, language, or behavioral areas. Often these disabilities begin before birth and can affect the individual for life. There are many factors that can potentially cause developmental disabilities such as genetics, smoking/drinking during pregnancy, infections during pregnancy, or complications during birth. About 17% of children ages 3 through 17 have one or more developmental disability. Some of the most common developmental disabilities are:
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Cerebral palsy
- Down syndrome
- Fetal alcohol syndrome
- Fragile X syndrome
- Hearing loss
- Vision impairment
It’s important to note that a developmental disability is not the same thing as a developmental delay. A developmental delay is when a child does not meet their developmental milestones at the expected time. A few examples of these milestones are crawling or walking, rolling over, or even difficulty with speech and communication. You do not have to have a developmental disability to experience developmental delays. If you are concerned your child has a developmental delay, consider discussing your concerns with your pediatrician.
Life with Developmental Disabilities
While life can look different for individuals with developmental disabilities, it’s important for us to remind parents that a diagnosis is just a new part of their story. There are incredible local resources and communities available to you and your loved ones along with therapy and assistance programs.
Recently Greys Anatomy star, Caterina Scorsone, sat down with People magazine and talked about raising her daughter who has Down syndrome:
“I didn’t really know what family could feel like until I entered the disability community and met other families that loved and included a person with Down syndrome,” she says. “These hilarious, real humans reached their arms around us when Pippa was born and pulled us into the most joyful, fierce hug we’ve ever experienced.” -Caterina Scorsone
We absolutely loved this article when we read it because it’s exactly the type of connection we hope to have with all of our PediaPlex families! We often see families come to us with a new or recent diagnosis and they are scared and overwhelmed. While these are common feelings, we want you to know that we are here to help and there is an entire community that will be there for you.
Services at PediaPlex
PediaPlex in Dallas/Fort Worth offers services for children with and without developmental disabilities. We offer ABA, speech, feeding, and occupational therapy at all three of our locations. PediaPlex conveniently offers all services in one location so that parents can easily get their child the services that they need. Our mission is to help families affected by developmental disorders, learning disorders, and developmental delays. If you have questions on whether pediatric therapy is right for your child, give our office a call today! We would love to help you. (817) 442-0222. For more information on the services we offer, please visit our website.
In honor of National Disability Awareness Month, please share this article and use the hashtag #DDawareness2021!
-The PediaPlex Family