The month of March is a very special month, especially for the MedicareInc.com family. March is Developmental Disability Awareness Month and we are eager to share more about this special time. For MedicareInc.com owner, Jared Lewis, his son was born with a developmental disability.
This is Christian Lewis. He is six years old and the most clever little boy. When he was born, he had an extra 21st chromosome, which makes his developmental disability known as Down Syndrome. He was extremely fortunate to not have any other health problems and only spent 2 days in the NICU.
While the month of March is Developmental Disability Awareness Month, it also houses World Down Syndrome Day. This day is celebrated on March 21st each year.
What is Developmental Disability Awareness Month?
Developmental Disability Awareness Month is an observance in March to raise awareness about developmental disabilities and the challenges faced by individuals with these conditions. It is a time that is dedicated to educating the public about the needs, rights, and abilities of people with developmental disabilities.
The goal of Developmental Disability Awareness Month is to promote inclusiveness, understanding, and support for individuals with developmental disabilities. It is also a time to raise awareness of the resources and services available to help them lead fulfilling lives. Developmental disabilities can include conditions such as autism, intellectual disability, and Down Syndrome.
It is estimated that approximately 1 in 6 individuals are born with a developmental disability. This equates to approximately 15% of the population. The exact number can vary based on the definition of a developmental disability and the population being studied.
Statistics You Should Know About Developmental Disabilities
Many people know at least one person or have a relative with developmental disabilities. If you don’t or are not close with anyone, here are some important statistics about people living with developmental disabilities.
- It is estimated that around 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
- Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal disorder and occurs in 1 in every 700 live births.
- Approximately 7% of children in the United States have a developmental disability.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 150 million people worldwide have intellectual disabilities.
By understanding these statistics you can see the need to fight for increased awareness and support for individuals with developmental disabilities. It is just as important to push for ongoing research and advancements in the field of developmental disabilities.
Developmental Disabilities and Medicare
Another facet of developmental disabilities is to understand how it works with Medicare. It is important to keep in mind that working with a licensed Medicare broker is your best chance at getting accurate information about your situation.
Here are some important things to know about developmental disabilities and Medicare:
- Coverage: Some individuals may be eligible for Medicare if they also receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Medicare does not cover all costs associated with developmental disabilities.
- Home and Community-Based Services: With regard to Medicare, it typically does not cover most long-term care services. This includes those who require assistance with activities of daily living. However, some home and community-based services may be available through Medicaid programs.
- Medicaid Waivers: Certain states provide Medicaid waivers that offer home and community-based services to people with developmental disabilities. These services may be eligible for Medicaid funding if they meet the criteria of being medically necessary and not covered by Medicare.
- Special Needs Plans: When it comes to Medicare, some Medicare Advantage plans may offer specialized coverage for individuals with developmental disabilities. This could include additional services and support not available through traditional Medicare plans.
- Out-of-Pocket Costs: Despite having Medicare and Medicaid coverage, individuals with developmental disabilities and their families may still incur significant expenses. These can include deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and the cost of services not covered by insurance.
It is important to understand your specific Medicare coverage and the options available to you through Medicaid and other programs. You can also consult with a disability advocacy organization or a specialist in developmental disabilities for additional information and support.
How Should I Celebrate Developmental Disability Awareness Month?
Celebrating and advocating for those with developmental disabilities is important to do this month. There are easy ways to help your community in regard to the observance. Here are just a few ways you can help celebrate and raise awareness for Developmental Disability Awareness Month.
- Advocate: Advocate or publicly support the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities. This can be achieved by educating others about their needs, abilities, and contributions to society.
- Participate in community events: Attend local events and activities that promote awareness.
- Volunteer: Volunteer your time or resources to organizations that support individuals with developmental disabilities.
- Educate: Share, share, share! Share information and resources about developmental disabilities with friends, family, and coworkers.
- Support local businesses: There could be local businesses in your area that employ individuals with developmental disabilities.
- Spread Awareness on Social Media: Share posts, articles, and resources about developmental disabilities and Developmental Disability Awareness Month on social media to help raise awareness.
- Donate: Donate to organizations that support research or other needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
Remember that the goal of Developmental Disability Awareness Month is to raise awareness and understanding of developmental disabilities. It is designed to promote inclusiveness and support for individuals, like Christian, with these conditions. By participating in these activities, you can help create a more inclusive and supportive community for people with developmental disabilities.
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