Case Study Developmental Disabilities

Developmental disability is the term used to technically refer to a lifelong disability caused by mental or physical impairment or a combination of both which appear in the individual before the age of twenty two. The term is most widely used in the United States to those individuals who's daily functioning in any three or more of the following areas are affected by these disabilities; the areas are, capacity for independent living, economic self-sufficiency, learning, mobility, receptive and expressive language, self-care, and self-direction.

Formal legal action to protect such individuals in society and ensure their respectable survival started back in the 1970s with Congress getting into action and forming laws to guard the rights of developmentally disable individuals. Not only were steps taken to give them better employment opportunities to earn their living in occupations where their disabilities were not a hindrance to performance but a greater emphasis was placed on society to be proactive and responsible in caring for those less fortunate.

Case studies are helpful in helping to understand how these individuals cope and respond to their environment. Observing and recording the daily life of a developmentally disabled person can highlight several lifestyle aspects that such individuals need to be helped with. Case observations also help to remove misconceptions that have, unfortunately surrounded the disabled. Many people used to associate disability with lack of civility, persons with mental illnesses were considered to be violent and unsafe. Case studies helped to prove to the contrary, for instance patients with Down's Syndrome are very affectionate and loving. They are in a heavy majority of cases purely harmless. But the fact is that as human beings, we all need companionship and a sense of belonging. For individuals with developmental disabilities, isolation often is the result when there isn't enough support for them in their family. Parents and family members in general have to be informed and instructed to cope with the individual. Depressions and stress affect such individuals differently than others for the reason that mental impairment doesn't generate the same thought pattern, a person coping with a mental impairment may see the factors causing him or her depression from an angle radically different than those of normal mental health.

Mental impairments are not the only developmental disabilities, as mentioned earlier, physical disabilities can obstruct normal life as well. These range from vision impairments to hearing problems to more severe forms such as heart conditions that a child was born with. Since these disabilities appear during an individual's growing and developing years, it's crucial to teach them how to be as independent as possible and go through life in an ordinary manner. Special classes and therapy sessions with trained psychologists can be very rewarding for such individuals. Also, assessments made at this time help to decide what sort of an education and professional career such an individual should pursue. Proper attention at this stage actually has many great outcomes, vocational training can be designed to suit such individuals that can lead to financial liberation.

In the end, having a developmental disability is an impairment to a normal life. But when proper attention is paid to the individuals it can lead to making great contributors to society.