March Commemorates Development Disabilities Awareness Month

Developmental disabilities refer to a variety of conditions that affect cognitive, physical, communication and social functions. Some examples include intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy.

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is observed throughout March each year and is a nationwide event to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities and address the barriers that those with disabilities face. Inclusion is necessary since about 15% of the world’s population lives with a disability.

Individuals with developmental disabilities have an increased risk of experiencing mental health issues. At Flatrock, our residents deal with mental health issues and many also are challenged with developmental disabilities.

Some factors that contribute to the link between developmental disabilities and mental health challenges include:

1. Biological factors. Those with developmental disabilities may have neurological or genetic factors that increase their vulnerability to mental health issues.

2. Social and environmental factors. Individuals with developmental disabilities may face challenges in social interactions, communication and daily functioning which can lead to increased stress, isolation and forming relationships, all of which can adversely affect mental health.

3. Stigma and discrimination. Those with developmental disabilities often experience stigma and discrimination which can contribute to feelings of low self-worth, depression and/or anxiety.

At Flatrock, we are aware of the correlation between developmental disabilities and mental health and provide residents with services that allow them to improve the quality of their lives and their mental health.