What are Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities?
Intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DDs) are disorders that are usually present at birth and that negatively affect the trajectory of the individual’s physical, intellectual, and/or emotional development. Many of these conditions affect multiple body parts or systems. As of 2016, 7.37 million people in the United States had intellectual or developmental disabilities. Intellectual disability starts any time before a child turns 18 and is characterized by problems with both intellectual functioning or intelligence – which includes the ability to learn, reason, problem-solve, and other skills – and adaptive behavior, which includes everyday social and life skills.
The term “developmental disabilities” is a broader category of often lifelong disability that can be intellectual, physical, or both. “I/DD” is the term often used to describe situations in which intellectual disability and other disabilities are present. Examples of developmental disabilities include autism, behavior disorders, brain injury, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, intellectual disability, and spina bifida.
Civitan is the only major service organization serving people with I/DD through local projects, charitable events and research funding. The Wayne County Civitan Club is part of the national Civitan organization, which was founded in 1917 in Birmingham, Alabama, Civitan International has more than 30,000 members worldwide. Civitan International’s flagship project is the Civitan International Research Center (CIRC)—a cutting edge research facility dedicated to the study and treatment of developmental disabilities like autism, Rett syndrome and disorders of the brain.
With April being Civitan Awareness Month, here are some reminders of what Civitan is all about:
- Civitan serves people in the I/DD community through service project and research funding.
- Civitan encourages good citizenship by building local clubs geared to meeting local needs.
- Civitan encourages people of all ages to take an active role in service to others.
- Civitan honors educators and other leaders in service to people with I/DD.
- Civitan empowers members to serve people in need though local clubs, fundraising, and leadership opportunities.
- Civitan encourages members to be aware of opportunities to serve others and addresses a wide-range of needs at the local level.
- Civitans around the world donate their time, skills and leadership to impact the lives of families and individuals with a variety of needs.
- Civitan honors clergy through the creation of Clergy Appreciation Week.
- Civitan develops future leaders by encouraging people of all ages to take an active role in society.
- Civitan builds character and trains the next generation’s leaders through the Junior and Campus programs.
For more information, please contact Club President Marla Beavers 931-722-8110 or any member. Wayne County Civitan meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at 12 noon at Dad’s Pizzeria in Waynesboro.—Submitted by Waynesboro Civitan Club
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