People across the world can have a developmental disability, or a severe, chronic condition that leads to mental and/or physical impairments. Basic tasks such as learning, language, self-help, mobility and living independently can be affected by a developmental disability. Chores that most people can accomplish without much thought, like comparing pet insurance or even something as basic as taking a shower are difficult for people with developmental disabilities.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, also referred to as the CDC, has a group devoted specifically to developmental disabilities. The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities focuses on three areas.
1. They study developmental disabilities; how common they are and who is most at risk.
2. They look for the cause of developmental disabilities, both mental and physical, and look for risk factors that may increase the chance that a certain person will have one.
3. They learn ways that people living with developmental disabilities can work to improve their own quality of life.
There are numerous developmental disabilities, but the CDC focuses specifically on disabilities that fall into one of five categories:
• Vision impairment
• Intellectual disabilities
• Hearing loss
• Cerebral palsy
• Autism spectrum disorders
The CDC doesn’t provide services to people who have developmental disabilities, but there are a number of other federal entities that can help you or your family. The Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) can help you find assistance in areas such as housing, education, childcare, employment and transportation. The National Council on Disability (NCD) helps support families so people with developmental disabilities can grow up independent, eventually participating in society, living on his own and supporting himself. For children with developmental disabilities, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) helps tailor educational needs to each student so every child can enjoy the gift of education.