With the start of October comes a lot of change. The temperature begins to drop, the sweaters start coming out, and the leaves begin to change from the green that indicates summer to the vibrant reds and yellows that lead into fall and winter. October is also a month full of celebration and awareness. In the disability and medical community, there are often times entire months dedicated to celebrating and spreading awareness for certain disabilities, diseases, and health-related topics.
When you are not engrained in the day-to-day of a certain disability or medical condition, it can be hard to learn and understand all there is to know. This October, there are six awareness months we would like to feature in order to bring awareness to our community here at enCourage Kids, and in hopes that the information we share will continue to spread outside of our networks and across the country.
Down Syndrome Awareness Month
Down Syndrome Awareness Month is a chance to spread awareness, advocacy, and inclusion throughout the community. During the month of October, we celebrate individuals with Down syndrome and make people aware of their abilities and accomplishments. We get the chance to celebrate their abilities, rather than their disability.
National Spina Bifida Awareness Month
Spina Bifida Awareness Month is a time to celebrate the hundreds of thousands of people living with spina bifida. It gives the opportunity for people to share community stories that challenge us to raise more awareness and support around those living with spina bifida.
Spinda bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States. Every day, about eight babies both in the United States have spinda bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine. Spina bifida occurs when a baby is in the womb and the spinal column does not close all of the way.
Rett Syndrome Awareness Month
This year, the theme for Rett Syndrome Awareness Month is OVERPOWER Rett. The goal is to bring about awareness for Rett syndrome, while also striving to find a treatment and a cure. It is a unique postnatal neurological disorder that is first recognized in infancy and seen almost always in girls, but can be rarely seen in boys. It is often misdiagnosed as autism, cerebral palsy, or a non-specific developmental delay. Rett syndrome can occur in all racial and ethnic groups and is not a degenerative disorder. Over the course of a person’s life, Rett syndrome can cause problems in brain function that are responsible for cognitive, sensory, emotional, motor, and autonomic function. These can include learning, speech, sensory sensations, mood, movement, breathing, cardiac function, and even chewing, swallowing, and digestion.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month
SIDS Awareness Month exists to provide parents and families with more information about how to reduce the risk of SIDS. About 3,700 infants died of SIDS or other sleep-related deaths in the United States in 2015. In honor of this month, we wanted to share a few tips for parents and caregivers to use to help reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths.
World Cerebral Palsy Day- October 6th
World Cerebral Palsy Day is a movement of people with cerebral palsy and their families in more than 65 countries. Their vision is to ensure that children and adults with cerebral palsy have the same rights, access, and opportunities as anyone else in society. More than just an awareness day, it is also an opportunity to celebrate and express pride in the lives and achievements of those with cerebral palsy, as well as the people and organizations that support them.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a physical disability that affects movement and is the most common physical disability in childhood. Its impact can range from a weakness in one hand to almost complete lack of voluntary movement. Cerebral palsy is a lifelong disability and there is no known cure.
National ADHD Awareness Month
We celebrate Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Awareness Month in an effort to improve the lives of the 17 million children and adults in the United States living with ADHD, their family members, teachers, and clinical professionals. ADHD is a neurobiological disorder characterized by developmentally inappropriate impulsivity, inattention, and in some cases, hyperactivity. Individuals with ADHD can be very successful in life, but without appropriate identification and treatment, ADHD can have serious consequences. For children and teens, these consequences may include difficulties in school, depression, behavior problems and clashes with adults, and substance abuse. Early identification and treatment are extremely important.
As we strive to continue to be a resource for our community, our hope is that you can walk away after reading this blog post with a better understanding of the many different disabilities and medical journeys of millions of children and adults across the country. When we work together to educate the community around us, they learn to understand and interact better with the disability and medical community.