Every March, Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is celebrated across the country in schools, homes, businesses and clinics. This special celebration was begun by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. His move was a natural continuation of the changes in special needs care that had occurred throughout the previous two decades, and that encompassed caring for special needs children in their natural environments and providing them with the opportunities they needed to improve themselves in all dimensions.
This year’s theme for the month varies based on the state. One of the goals of this month is to get others to realize that not all disabilities can be seen with the eyes. While some children struggle with physical deformities or injuries that leave them in wheelchairs or that change the appearance of their faces, others have mental disabilities that affect how they communicate, move or process thoughts. Some disabilities are hard to recognize but are still very difficult for these children and adults to deal with on a daily basis. This month, educators around the country are encouraged to support all of these children by showing them that each child is important despite what type of disability he or she has.
Even those who are not related to special needs individuals are encouraged to get involved in state and school district celebrations. Many special needs departments host special events, allow children to decorate bulletin boards or invite parents in for a special afternoon or evening event. Simply interacting with some of these individuals will give parents, caregivers and other loved ones an increased love and respect for their unique talents and dreams. Adults can also become involved on social media by spreading the message across personal pages.