President Ronald Reagan declared March as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in 1987 to “increase public awareness of the needs and the potential of Americans who face developmental disabilities and to provide the opportunities they need in order to live productive lives and to achieve their full potential”

Developmental disabilities can refer to impairments in learning and behavior, such as autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and also impairments in physical and/or intellectual functioning.

Developmental disabilities cannot be cured. These conditions can, however, be managed and minimized. The most important aspect is that the conditions of the disability are recognized and addressed as soon as possible. Early intervention is key. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the leading preventable developmental disability.

Refer to this web article Facts About Developmental Disabilities from the CDC for more information on causes, risk factors and screenings.

If you have concerns about your child’s development please consult with their pediatrician.

Also consider contacting our partners at NH Family Voices who can provide options and advice, a multitude of resources, and tap into a network of other families and professionals to help provide you with support and information.

You can also refer to our Family Resource page for a list of local support providers.