Developmental disabilities are more common than you may think. Recent surveys show that up to 1 in 6 children have a developmental disability, but raising awareness about these conditions can help us create a more inclusive world. All types of developmental disabilities impact people differently, and understanding each person’s symptoms can help you accommodate their needs in the best way possible.
With occupational therapy and exercise, people with developmental disabilities can manage their symptoms for a healthier, happier lifestyle! Today, we’ll review a few of the most common types of developmental disabilities and discuss why exercise is one of the best ways for differently-abled people to manage their symptoms.
What are Developmental Disabilities?There are many different types of disabilities, and if you’re not familiar with the term “developmental disabilities,” you probably know someone who has one. Essentially, developmental disabilities are conditions that impact a person’s physical, cognitive, or behavioral development. These disabilities typically emerge during childhood and persist throughout a person’s life.
Different types of developmental disabilities impact a person’s learning abilities, communication skills, social interactions, and their ability to care for themselves.
4 Different Types of Developmental Disabilities
While there are many types of developmental disabilities, some are more common than others. Also, it’s important to recognize that developmental disabilities are never the fault of the parent and most people with developmental disabilities are genetically predisposed to their condition.
1. Autism spectrum disorder
Recent surveys show that about 1 in 36 children have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD is a neurodevelopmental condition that changes how a person communicates, socializes, and interacts with other people. Since ASD exists on a spectrum, symptoms can vary greatly, but most people with ASD exhibit the following traits:
2. Cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder that affects movement, muscle tone, and coordination. Sometimes, CP develops as a result of damage to a person’s developing brain, typically occurring before or during birth. However, some people develop CP in early childhood. When this brain damage happens, it interferes with the brain’s ability to control muscle movements and posture.
While CP symptoms vary from person to person, they often include the following:
Fortunately, early intervention, speech therapy, and exercises for cerebral palsy can help children learn how to manage their symptoms and become independent.
3. Down syndrome
Down syndrome is a condition that occurs when a person is born with an extra chromosome. The extra chromosome changes how a person’s brain and body develop. Although people with Down syndrome appear similar, every person has different traits. Some of the common characteristics of Down syndrome include:
As with most different types of developmental disabilities, people with Down syndrome can lead healthy, happy lives by managing their symptoms with exercises for Down syndrome, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.
4. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
Unlike other types of developmental disabilities, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) occur when a person is exposed to alcohol before birth. In most cases, this happens by accident because women may not know they’re pregnant for up to six weeks. Everyone with FASD has different traits, such as:
How Exercises Can Help You Manage Developmental Disabilities
Exercise is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle, and people with all types of developmental disabilities aren’t any different! There are plenty of studies that show how regular exercise improves cognitive function, cardiovascular health, and a person’s overall quality of life.
However, people with developmental disabilities may not get as much exercise as their peers. Sometimes, this is due to the fact that there aren’t many fitness programs that cater to the needs of differently-abled people. When people with developmental disabilities don’t have the resources to meet their fitness needs, it can significantly negatively impact physical, mental, and emotional help.
The good news is that special needs fitness programs like Let’s Go Fitness create a safe space for people with developmental disabilities to work out with friends, get in shape, and have fun along the way! Just remember to consult a licensed healthcare provider embarking on a fitness journey with someone who has a developmental disability. With regular exercise, people with developmental disabilities can manage their symptoms better and make friends with people that are just like them!
Get Fit with Let’s Go Fitness
If you’re looking for a special needs fitness program but you’re not sure where to start, our team at Let’s Go Fitness is here to help. We provide special needs fitness programs for differently-abled individuals.
At Let's Go Fitness, we strive to create a welcoming environment where anyone can make friends, get in shape, and have fun doing it! Our adaptive fitness specialists guide participants every step of the way. Whether our athletes need accommodations, modifications, or simply an understanding listener, we'll help everyone reach their goals.
Are you ready to start a fitness journey for yourself or a loved one? Contact Let's Go Fitness today to learn more about our membership packages!