Dom has always been a lucky go child, smiling through everything the world has thrown at him. Despite his stature and the fact that he had growth impediments resulting in him being disfigured, and which meant that he was developing at a slower rate than his peers, he was not detered from living a full and happy life at the orphanage where he had been dropped off at since he was two years old after his mom decided he was too much work for a struggling single mother.
Five years down the line and Dom was receiving the best care he could get, as he was lucky to have the most selfless volunteers at the orphanage home who looked after him and other special kids as they were often referred to, and did their best to care for them according to their specific disability. Employing strategies and systems that allowed them learn at their pace. But he knew that not every special needs child got the support they needed and he decided that when he could, he would create awareness about kids like him and help get them the support they needed.
Children with special needs (or additional needs) are children who require assistance for disabilities that may be medical, mental, or psychological, these conditions form as developmental disabilities and this disability is noticed at the developmental stages such as delay in speech, lack of coordination in moving body parts, slow response to outside stimuli and other conditions which clearly show that the child would require special needs.
Children with developmental disabilities acquire skills at a slower pace (or not at all) than other children of similar age. Developmental disabilities are health conditions that reveal the inadequacies in certain children and these conditions require them to be monitored closely and offered the best special care.
Most developmental disabilities begin before a baby is born, but some can happen after birth because of injury, infection, or other factors.
Developmental disabilities occur among all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Recent estimates in the United States show that about one in six, or about 17%, of children aged 3 through 17 years have one or more developmental disabilities.
Most developmental disabilities are thought to be caused by a complex mix of factors. These factors include genetics; parental health and behaviors (such as smoking and drinking) during pregnancy; complications during birth; infections the mother might have during pregnancy or the baby might have very early in life; and exposure of the mother or child to high levels of environmental toxins.
This proves that people in rural areas are at a high risk of birthing children with developmental disabilities, who would require special care as they are ignorant of the factors that cause such disabilities and are more likely to get infected or carry out activities that would harm their babies. Birthing such children will then leave them in a bigger dilemma as to how they are to care for them, understand their special needs and provide favorable conditions to allow such kids grow well.
Ways to assist these individuals are:
- Funding volunteers and health workers willing to cater for special kids.
- Teaching expectant mothers what to avoid during pregnancy.
- Funding educational systems that are specially built to cater for their developmental rate.
- Creating awareness about developmental disabilities and how it affects the children.
As humanitarians duty falls on you to contribute your quota to the protection and provision of better life chioces for children with special needs.