Embracing Developmental Differences

01/30/24  8:00 AM PST
special needs parenting

Every individual is unique and has their strengths and weaknesses. This is especially true for approximately 1 in 6 children who have a developmental disability in the United States. The prevalence of developmental disabilities has been increasing over the years, yet despite this, individuals with developmental disabilities continue to face significant challenges and discrimination.


What are developmental disabilities?

Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions that cause impairment in physical, intellectual, and/or behavioral areas. These disabilities affect individuals in different ways and to varying degrees. Some with developmental disabilities can live independently and function like their typical peers. Others require round-the-clock health care and will never be able to live independently.

Some common developmental disabilities include:


How can I support someone with developmental disabilities?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to caring for someone with a developmental disability. However, it is essential to support those living with or caring for someone with a developmental disability. Providing a supportive and inclusive environment can help children with disabilities reach their full potential.

Some key points to keep in mind are:

  • Inclusion – Those living with developmental disabilities shouldn’t be excluded from experiences just because of their condition. Treat those living with a disability the same as you would their typical peer.
  • Access to education – Children with developmental disabilities should have access to quality education that meets their individual needs. This includes early intervention services, special education programs, and accommodations to support their learning.
  • Employment opportunities – Individuals with developmental disabilities are often overlooked for job opportunities, despite their abilities and qualifications. By promoting inclusive hiring practices and providing job training and support, we can help individuals with disabilities succeed in the workplace and contribute to society.
  • Never assume – Making assumptions about a person’s disability can be patronizing and frustrating for them. Ask them if they need help, and then give them the level of support that they require.
  • Support the family – Caring for a family member with a disability can be both challenging and rewarding. These families often require more help and may need to turn to others for assistance. Avoid making judgments, establish ongoing communication, and offer support where possible.



Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month was first established in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan to promote awareness and understanding of developmental disabilities. Today, March is recognized as a time to celebrate the achievements and abilities of individuals with developmental disabilities and educate the public about the challenges they face. By promoting inclusion, education, employment, and support for families, we can create a more inclusive and equitable society for all.

Recent GROW


  1. Hi I have 9 year old and it’s a miracle baby girl born premature 35 weeks I went to the ER thinking it was a big pain that I had I wake up my parents and i told them I need help to get there asap I didn’t experience any symptoms or anything that a pregnancy was in progress when I got there they make me some tests a livery humble lady grab me from my shoulders and told me honey you are pregnant and going to have the baby today I couldn’t believe it since that day today she’s my daughter the most beautiful miracle baby girl GOD choose me to have the greatest gift of my life she have slow development delayed but she’s the most social caring little person I know in my whole life I’m the most happiest proud to have her in my life and the most important little wonderful girl my little miracle only GOD knows who to choose i I’m vey blessed I did

  2. My son Jude was recently evaluated at Seattle Children’s and falls on the mild autism spectrum as well as being diagnosed with ADHD, and ODD. CPS is involved and we’ve been forced to give him a plethora of medications for a long time,switching from one to another and having medication management meetings where they make medication adjustments (where the raise or lower the meds), never letting him get off of the meds to let his body level out first so we can see where he’s at and then go from there.And all the while CPS says that all his problems stem from the trauma that stems from my abuse. We could really use some insight and resources to really help our son Jude.

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