The term “Developmental Disabilities” covers a wide range of conditions, including autism, that may include behavioral, language, learning (or intellectual), and physical impairments.
This is a broad term covering a myriad of severe, long-term challenges that may include physical disabilities such as blindness or learning disabilities. Challenges may be and often are, compounded when a person is affected by more than one disability.
For example, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), tend to have more digestive problems than their peers. These include gastrointestinal symptoms like abdominal pain, chronic constipation, and diarrhea. Whether it’s ASD or Down Syndrome, the challenges last an entire lifespan and affect daily life.
“Treatments are available, but nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a health professional. Stigma, discrimination, and neglect prevent care and treatment from reaching people with mental disorders. Where there is neglect, there is little or no understanding. Where there is no understanding, there is neglect.” ~ World Health Organization (WHO)
There is a substantial gap between the burden caused by mental disorders and the resources available to prevent and treat them. It is estimated that four out of five people with serious mental disorders living in low and middle-income countries do not receive mental health services that they need.