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Types of Disabilities you should know

By March 1, 2024March 6th, 2024No Comments6 min read

Types of Disabilities You Should Know

A disability is any physical or mental ailment (impairment) that limits an individual’s capacity to accomplish particular tasks (activity limitation) or engage with their environment (participation restrictions).

The World Health Organization distinguishes three types of disability:

1. A disability affecting a person’s physical makeup or ability to operate their mind; examples of disabilities include amputations, visual loss, or memory loss.
2. Activity restriction, such as blindness, deafness, difficulties walking, or trouble solving problems.
3. limitations on one’s ability to participate in regular everyday activities, such as working, going to social and recreational events, and getting preventive care.

Intellectual Disability

A person with intellectual disability is often characterized by an IQ of less than 70. It may be challenging for people with intellectual disabilities to learn, retain information, and communicate. The majority of kids with this illness grow and learn far more slowly than kids without disabilities. Moreover, general mental skills like intelligence and adaptive functioning are impacted by intellectual disability. During, after, or before labor, problems may lead to intellectual impairment. Disease, trauma, or a neurological issue are some more explanations; other contributing variables are still unidentified. It may be challenging for people with intellectual disabilities to learn, retain information, and communicate. The majority of kids with this illness grow and learn far more slowly than kids without disabilities. Additionally, general mental skills like intelligence and adaptive functioning are impacted by intellectual disability. Intellectual disabilities are:

Down’s Syndrome

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that occurs when a person born has an extra pair of homologous chromosomes. Read more on Down’s Syndrome in our previous articles: Frequently Asked Questions about Down Syndrome
Inheritable type of Down Syndrome

Fragile X syndrome
An X chromosomal mutation is the cause of this genetic disorder. The condition is typified by mild-to-moderate intellectual deficits; over 75% of all affected females have intellectual difficulties, and the average IQ for males with the illness ranges to under 55. The following physical characteristics are present in those with this hereditary disability: elongated, thin face, big ears, flexible fingers and Big testicles.

Developmental Delay
Developmental delay happens when a child develops at a slower rate than the normal rate. It may manifest as the child doesn’t move, understand, learn, and socialize with other children. They may begin as early as through the developmental stage and can last throughout the person’s lifetime.

Physical Disability

A physical condition, such as a spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, respiratory disorders, hearing impairments, or visual impairments, might impair a person’s mobility, stamina, physical capability, or even agility. Physical impairments can be genetic or congenital, and some may be transient or irreversible.
As physical disabilities have multiple causes, they occur in several forms such as:

Acquired Brain injury
This disability occurs from a brain injury after birth. It affects an individual’s emotions, physical, and cognitive functions, and sometimes all three. One may end up dependent on others as their ability to plan, solve problems and process information is severely damaged. This condition can be permanent or temporary.

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
SCI happens when the blood supply to the spine is cut, or the spinal cord is injured due to too much pressure resulting in paraplegia, paralysis, and lack of sensory abilities. The results can either be permanent or temporary depending on the impact. Some differently-abled people with this condition use a wheelchair for movement.

Psychiatric Disability
Psychiatric or mental illnesses are a group of diseases that negatively affect an individual’s thinking, behavior, and interaction with other people. However, mentally ill people are not abnormal. Mental illnesses occur both temporarily and permanently and are quite difficult for the individual to experience.
Mental health disorders affect a person’s thinking, behavior, and mood, and manifest through conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, addictive behaviors, etc

Sensory Disabilities
Sensory disabilities are long-lasting disabilities that most people are either born with or acquire throughout their lives. A sensory impairment is a neurological condition that impairs a person’s ability to receive information from their senses—their taste, smell, touch, hearing, or vision. A person may not get information from one or more senses when they are impacted, which alters how they perceive the outside world. they might need a lot of assistance to fully engage in life and access some parts of society, or most often, they might fall somewhere in between the two extremes. They include:

Sensory impairments

Visual impairment
This can be a form of blindness- complete loss of vision or partial blindness which is low levels of vision including difficulty seeing fine details or distinguishing color.

Touch impairment
The individual’s sense of touch is impaired  can affect their ability to feel and interpret physical contact or temperature. It’s also known as tactile impairment.

Taste impairment
It results in someone’s difficulties in detecting, distinguishing, or enjoying different flavors. This is also known as gustatory impairment.

Smell impairment
Characterized by the inability to detect and interpret odors, it affects someone’s ability to recognize scents and potential danger. It is also known as Olfactory impairment.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism is a developmental impairment brought on by variations in the brain. Individuals with ASD may struggle with confined or repetitive habits or interests, as well as social communication and engagement. Individuals with ASD may also move, learn, or pay attention in different ways.

Hearing loss and Deafness
Hearing loss is defined as the inability to hear as well as someone with normal hearing, defined as hearing thresholds of 20 dB or better in both ears. One can have mild, moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss. It causes trouble hearing loud noises or conversational speaking and can impair one or both ears.
People who have hearing loss, ranging from slight to severe, are referred to as hard of hearing. Individuals who are hard of hearing typically use spoken language to communicate, and captioning, cochlear implants, hearing aids, and other assistive technologies can all be helpful. The majority of deaf individuals have substantial hearing loss, which means they have little to no hearing. They communicate frequently by using sign language.

Blindness and low vision
When one or both eyes are completely blinded, the brain receives no visual information from the damaged eye or eyes. This is known as absolute blindness. While most people associate blindness with this condition, other vision impairments can have a substantial impact on a person’s life and are classified as sensory disabilities. These include color blindness, or the inability to correctly see particular colors, and poor vision, or decreased visual acuity.

Even though color blindness frequently has a hereditary or neurological etiology, the following are some typical reasons for low vision or blindness:

  • Uncorrected refractive error
  • Cataract
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Trachoma

As we commemorate World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st, let’s educate ourselves about the various kinds of disabilities. This year’s theme is #endthestereotype. The first step is having the right information. Over the following thirty one days, our main goals will be to dispel misconceptions and educate people about disabilities, with a particular emphasis on Down syndrome. To learn more and get in touch with others who share the same enthusiasm:

 follow us on social media.
 Fill out our survey. The survey aims to test the knowledge of neurotypical individuals on disability.
 Donate some food, diapers, or volunteer.
 Practice mindfulness and show love and respect to everyone.

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