In the past few weeks, I been thinking about what a developmental disability really means. I have come to a conclusion and astonishingly many people in the community do not even know this or consider it. So before I go into detail, I am going to give more definitions.
if Develop is to acquire gradually
and Development is the state of being developed (gradually acquired)
then Developmental is of, relating to, or being development ( the state of being gradually acquired)
and if Disability is impaired function or ability
then Developmental + Disability is an impaired function or ability to be gradually acquired
From just the definitions taken from a dictionary. It is pretty obvious that a developmental disability only impairs a function or ability to gradually be acquired, it does not state if/how the function or ability can/will or when it can be acquired. So it can be easily seen as too why many people with a developmental disability could end up with more than one, since if one function/ability is impaired/delayed then it can directly affect other functions/abilities.
Ex. If a child has Autism (the impaired ability to properly communicate) then it can directly affect a childs ability to properly acquire intellectual ability, since humanity learns majorly through communication in the early parts of life to acquire the skills needed to learn on your own (like reading).
But I want to speak more on the if/how and when part of the impairment. Many people forget that throughout roughly the first thirty years of life an individual is continually developing. Whether it is intellectually, socially, emotionally, or physically. Even though many experts may argue this, I am mainly just going to go off of what has been determined physically, since all the others have seen numerous outliers. And the fact that I know I have personally grown more intellectually, socially, and emotionally in the past 7-8 years than I had the first two decades of my life. Since every disability (impairment) is different the if and when part of acquiring the ability or function will never be concrete. It should also be noted that during these first thirty years, it can be said that at any time the disability could present itself since during this time you are continually developing. Also since you are continually developing at a non gradual rate, there will be major ups and downs that you often see within an individual with this kind of disability. All too often do I hear individuals talking about major regressions or seeing progressions beyond what was thought capable and not every understanding what really is happening. Hopefully this helps some people better understand a developmental disability.
I have to rant for a little bit as well and it deals with Vaccines. If your fed up with reading the Autism and Vaccine debate your not alone. I read it every day and every day all I think about is that there are people out there that see me as a scientific experiment instead of a natural evolution of mankind, whether you see this evolution as good or bad is up to you, but we are all in sense a evolved form from our parents in hopes of creating a more advanced individual with an increased chance of survival.
I see these posts about my child changed after vaccines. Well lets state some facts. A person normally starts to walk around 12-18 months, when leg muscles have developed enough for the individual to stand with their weight on just one leg at a time. To effectively move and adventure into the newfound space will take an individual some time to gain more muscle to grow. By this time a person starts receiving vaccines, which can be said to be correlated to the time a person initially starts trying to be more independent, a major time of development. If a person that for the majority of their short existence in life was spent laying around collecting cues and data, it would not be hard to tell a regression during this time if a child did not proper collect those important cues and data during the time spent stationary. The majority of the cues are socially related which means if a child has Autism it will most likely appear during the first stages of that persons attempt towards independence.
I am big on that as a living creature, we can pick up on others views/cues of us, whether there is a disability or not. So what do you think will happen with an individual when you, as a parent, are always thinking "this is no longer my child" after vaccinations. They will not think they are wanted and thus not try to be better because the people closest to them do not feel that they belong. This is not mutual to loving that individual, so you can still love them without thinking they are "your child".
I am also big on that everyone has a purpose in life, and it may take a person a lifetime to understand that purpose but everyone has one. I believe mine is to help out this population in improving their lives through exercise, even if it may not be. All too often people with disabilities are seen as not having a purpose to their lives which can ruin them emotionally to the point where they do not want to "live within society"( future blog post reference), so if you are sending off vibes that they are not even "your child", how do you think that will affect their purpose?
Mark Fleming- Person on the Autism Spectrum