March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Donna Summerall
Staff Writer

In 1987 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed March “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.” The deinstitutionalization movement of the nineteen seventies and early eighties had laid the foundation for significant social change in the way people with developmental disabilities are viewed. The presidential proclamation called upon Americans to provide the “encouragement and opportunities” necessary for people with developmental disabilities to reach their full potential.
Before this eye-opening movement, people with disabilities were often institutionalized. With limited funding, the people were often “inmates” of insane asylums and other institutions and did not receive proper care or treatment.
Times have changed for the better, children with Autism and other developmental delays are now included in public school classrooms. Children are quick to learn to understand and get along with all types of people, even those with unique differences.
The Catherine Bryan School works with children who are developmentally delayed in its ARC classes. The school is having Open House from 3 – 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, for the three and four year old programs.
“We at the Catherine Bryan School believe in early intervention,” Dawn Wilbourne, executive director of the ARC class, said. “It is crucial to the developmentally delayed child’s future success in life. Diagnostic and prescriptive measures aid in the child’s motor, cognitive, self – help and social skills.”
See the rest of this and other stories in Wednesday's DTL.