Developmental disabilities are the diverse group of chronic conditions which are due to mental or physical impairments. It causes individuals living with them many difficulties in certain areas of life, especially in “language, mobility, learning, self-help, and independent living”. Developmental disabilities can be detected in the early stages, and do persist throughout an individual’s lifespan. It is also important to understand that there are no mainline cures and treatments associated with the majority of the developmental disabilities. However the same can be managed well with medication and right medical expertise. Majorly Genetic factors have long been responsible for the developmental disabilities. Also, there are also large environmental components responsible for these disabilities, and the relative contributions of nature versus nurture have been debated for decades. The causes and cases of developmental disabilities are varied and are not known in a large proportion of cases.
Common Developmental Disabilities:
- Down syndrome: This is the disorder in which people are born with an additional copy of chromosome 21. Normally, a person is born with two copies of chromosome 21. However, if they are born with the disorder, Down syndrome, they have an extra copy of this chromosome. This additional copy of chromosomes affects the development of the body and brain, causing physical and mental challenges for the individual.
- Fragile X Syndrome: It results in Autism and Intellectual disabilities.
- Pervasive Developmental Disorders: This group of developmental disabilities can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: It is a condition that can occur in a person whose mother takes alcohol during pregnancy. This type of disorder is 100% preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol during pregnancy.
- Cerebral Palsy: This group of disorders affects a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.
- Intellectual Disability: It is also sometimes known as mental retardation and is defined as an IQ below 70 along with limitations in adaptive functioning in children.