What is a Disability?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a disability is defined as if she/he has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 61 million adults in the United States live with a disability.

  • The percentage of people living with disabilities is highest in the south.
  • 13.7% have serious difficulties walking or climbing stairs
  • 10.8% have serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • 6.8% difficulty doing errands alone
  • 5.9% are deaf or have difficulty hearing
  • 4.6% are blind or having difficulty seeing
  • 3.7% have difficulty dressing or bathing independently
  •  2 in 5 are adults age 65 years or older
  • 1 in 4 women have a disability
  • adults living with disabilities are more likely to have obesity, smoke, have heart disease and diabetes.

The U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities adopts the social model of disability that recognizes:

  • That disability is an evolving concept and that disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinders their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others and;
  • Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

According to the World Report on Disability, about 15% of the world/s population lives with some form of disabilities,. of whom 2-4% experiences significant difficulties in functioning. A disability can be visible or invisible.

Causes

A disability can be occur before, during or after birth. Before birth could be a genetic problem, chromosomal , infection or exposure to chemicals. During birth can be due to lack of oxygen and after ranges from seizures, car accidents, drownings, strokes, etc.

Types

Chromones/Genetic

Neurodevelopmental

Physical Impairments

Psychiatric

Chronic Disabilities

Sensory Disabilities

Cognitive Disabilities

Medical Conditions

Invisible

Also see:

About Special Needs;

Purple Day for Epilepsy

Date: March 26, 2022

March 26 is Purple Day is an international grassroots efforts dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy worldwide. People om countries around the world wear purple and host events in support of epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder which causes seizures through electrical impulses occurring in the brain. It is the fourth most common neurological disorder. Epilepsy affects 50 million people worldwide. In the U.S., 1 out of 26 people are affected.

A person is considered to have epilepsy if they meet any of the following conditions:

  1. At least two unprovoked seizures occurring greater than 24 hours apart.
  2. One unprovoked seizure and after two unprovoked seizures occurring over the next 10 years.
  3. Diagnosis of an epilepsy syndrome.
Seizures

A seizure is caused by a burst of abnormal activity in the brain. With a seizure, a person has change in awareness, behavior, body movement or sensation. A seizure can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. Seizures can take on many different forms and affect people in different ways.

Auras

Auras are often describes as a warning before the occurrence of a seizure. Not everyone experiences an aura. Some have described it as a change in feeling, sensation, thought or behaviors. this may include:

  • An overpowering smell.
  • Nausea or indigestion.
  • A rising/sinking feeling in the stomach.
  • a sleepy/dreamy feeling.
Types of Seizures

Generalized Tonic Clonic Seizures. Involves the entire brain. May also be referred to as a grand mal seizure. This occurs when abnormal electrical activity affects all or most of the brain. often the body will stiffen and then the person will lose consciousness and then the body will shake due to uncontrollable muscle contractions.

Absence Seizure– A brief loss of consciousness or awareness. It generally last only seconds and mainly occurs in children. Signs may include a blank stare, lip smacking and repeated blinking, chewing or hand movement.

Focal Seizures– The burst of electrical activity is contain in one part of the brain. In a simple focal seizure, you may have muscular jerks or strange sensations in one arm or leg. The person does not lose consciousness or awareness.

Causes
  • brain trauma
  • genetics
  • stroke
  • tumors
  • brain infections
  • head injury.
Risk Factors
  • Babies who are born small for their age
  • Babies who have seizures in the first month of life
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Conditions with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Family history of epilepsy (febrile)

Prevalence:

  • More people live with epilepsy than autism, spectrum disorders, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy combined.
  • You can’t swallow your tongue during a seizure. It is physically impossible.
  • You should never force something into the mouth of someone having a seizure.
  • Don’t restrain someone having a seizure.
  • Epilepsy is not contagious .
  • Anyone can develop epilepsy.
  • Epilepsy is not rare.
  • 1 in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy in their lifetime.4An estimated 3 million Americans and 65 million people worldwide live with epilepsy.
  • In 2/3 of patients diagnosed with epilepsy, the cause is unknown.
  • Up to 50,000 deaths occur annually in the U.S. from status epilepticus (prolonged seizures). (SUDEP) and other seizure-related causes such as drowning and other accidents.
  • SUDEP accounts for 34% of all sudden deaths in children.
  • Epilepsy costs the U.S. approximately 15.5 billion each year.
  • A seizure is a transient disruption of brain function due to abnormal and excessive electrical discharges in brain cells.
  • Epilepsy is a disease of the brain that predisposes a person to excessive electrical discharges in the brain cell.
  • It is diagnosed when 2 or more unprovoked seizures have occurred.
  • It must be at least 2 unprovoked seizures more than 24 hours apart.
  • About 14% have simple partial seizures.
  • 36% have complex partial seizures.
  • 5% have tonic-clonic seizures.
  • Seizures can be caused by head trauma, stokes, brain tumor and a brain infection.
  • Causes are unknown in 60 to 70% of cases.
  • The prevalence is 1% of the U.S. population.
  • Approximately 2.2 to 3 million in the U.S. have seizures.
  • It affects all ages, socioeconomic and racial groups.
  • Incidents are higher in children and older adults.
  • Seizures can range from momentarily blanks to loss of awareness
  • Almost 150,000 people in the U.S. develop epilepsy every year.
  • No gender is likely to develop than others.
  • 1/3 of individuals with autism spectrum disorders also have epilepsy.
  • The prevalence of epilepsy in people with an intellectual disability is higher than the general population.

Website: Purple Day – Supporting Epilepsy Around The World!

Resources

Epilepsy and Autism: What You Need To Know – Special Needs Resource and Training Blog

Intellectual Disabilities And Epilepsy – Special Needs Resource and Training Blog

 

Trisomy Awareness Month

Date: March 1- March 31, 2022

March is Trisomy Awareness Month.

Prevalence:

  • There are three types of Down syndrome: trisomy 21 (nondisjunction) accounts for 95% of cases, translocation accounts for about 4%, and mosaicism accounts for about 1%
  • Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. Approximately one in every 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome – about 6,000 each year
  • Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels
  • The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age
  • People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives
  • A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are: low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. Every person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees or not at all
  • Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades – from 25 in 1983 to 60 today
  • People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, have meaningful relationships, vote and contribute to society in many wonderful ways
  • All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses

The incidence of Down syndrome is between I in 1000 to 1 in 1,100 live birth worldwide.

  • Each year, approximately 3,000 to 5,000 children are born with Down syndrome.
  • 60-80% of children with Down syndrome having hearing issues
  • 40-45% of children with Down syndrome have congenital heart disease
Life Expectancy
  • The life expectancy increased slowly from 1900 to 1960 (by 89%) but rapidly grew from 1960 to 2007 (456%)
Life Expectancy by Race
  • Whites with Down syndrome in the United States had a median death at the age of 50 in 1997 compared to 25 years for African Americans and 11 for people of other races

Resources

10 Important Facts On Trisomy 18

Down Syndrome Timeline

Mosaic Down Syndrome

National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. The purpose is to help raise awareness about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Developmental disability is a diverse group of chronic conditions that are due to mental or physical impairments before the age of 22. A developmental disability can occur before, during or after birth. Common well-known developmental disabilities include autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and Fragile X syndrome. Here are some facts and statistics on developmental disabilities.

  • Developmental Disability is a severe, long-term disability that affect cognitive ability, physical functioning or both.
  • 1 in 6 or about 15% of children aged 3 through 17 have one or more developmental disabilities.
  • Between 2014 and 2016 the prevalence of developmental disability among kids ages 3 to 17 increased from 5.76 percent to 6.99 percent.
  • Prevalence of autism increased 289.5%
  • Prevalence of ADHD increased 33.0 %
  • Males have a higher prevalence of ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, stuttering and other developmental disabilities.
  • Children from families with incomes below the federal poverty level had a higher prevalence of developmental disabilities.
  • 10% of Americans have a family member with an intellectual disability.
  • Intellectual disabilities are 25 times more common than blindness.
  • Every year 125,000 children are born with an intellectual disability
  • Approximately 85% of the intellectual disability is in the mild category.
  • About 10% of the intellectual disability is considered moderate
  • About 3-4% of the intellectual disability population is severe.
  • Only 1-2% is classified as profound.

Resources

Website: Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month Archives – The Arc

What You Should Know About GERD and Developmental Disabilities – Special Needs Resource and Training Blog

National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

Date: March 1- March 31, 2022

March is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month and is used to bring awareness and to educate the general public.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is a collection of motor disorders resulting from damage to the brain that can occur before, during and after birth. Congenital cerebral palsy indicates that a person developed cerebral palsy at birth which is the case of the majority of people with cerebral palsy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. It is the most common motor disability in childhood. It is estimated that an average of 1 in 345 children in the U.S. have cerebral palsy. For many years, it was thought cerebral palsy was due to lack of oxygen. Studies show this only accounts for 19% of all cases.

Prevalence and Characteristics
  • Around 764,000 people in the United states have at least one symptom of cerebral palsy
  • Around 10,000 babies are born each year with cerebral palsy
  • Boys are diagnosed more often than girls
  • Cerebral palsy is the mot commonly diagnosed childhood motor disability in the United States
  • Over 77% of children with cerebral palsy have the spastic form
  • More than 50% of all children with cerebral palsy can walk independently
  • African American children with cerebral palsy are 1.7 times more likely to need assistance with walking or be unable to walk at all
  • Around 41% of babies and children with cerebral palsy will have limited abilities in crawling, walking and running.
  • Around 41% children with cerebral palsy in the United states have some form of a cognitive disorder
  • Behavior problems are common in children with cerebral palsy including social skills and anger issues.
  • Seizures are a common associate disorder of cerebral palsy and can range from mild to extreme severe.
  • There is no known cure
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

Studies show that about 10 to 20 percent of children with cerebral palsy acquire the disorder after birth. This includes through infections, jaundice, RH incompatibility and severe oxygen shortage in the brain.

Types of Cerebral Palsy

Ataxic- indicates the muscle tone is too low or too loose

  • affects 5 to 10 percent of people with cerebral palsy
  • movements are unsteady and shaking
  • have difficulty making quick movements

Spastic- refers to the inability of  muscle to relax

  • is the most common type of cerebral palsy
  • 70-80% of people have spastic cerebral palsy
  • will have difficulty moving from one position to another

Athetoid-uncontrolled twisting movements

  • Affects 10 to 20% of people with cerebral palsy
  • often have difficulty holding themselves in an upright position
  • muscles move involuntarily causing limbs to twitch

Classifications

Hemiplegia- The inability to move the arm and leg on one side of the body.

Diplegia-The inability to move either both arms or both legs.

Quadriplegia- A type of cerebral palsy that affects all limbs on both sides of the body

Monoplegia- A type of cerebral palsy that affects only one limb.

Resources