What these disabilities actually mean may surprise you

I am an SLS client. What is SLS? This stands for supported living services, which are personalized supports for people whose disabilities are considered developmental. All a developmental disability is is a neurological, usually congenital disability that originates before the age of 18 or 21 depending on how each state sets the age. It is developmental because it happens in early development. That is all.

These disabilities include epilepsy in childhood, autism, down syndrome and other chromosome related disabilities, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy and in many cases spina bifida. Because the definition means neurologically based, it excludes physical disabilities in which motor issues are the result of muscle issues only such as muscular dystrophy, ALS, muscle issues from severe illness, etc. But it does include muscular control difficulties that congenitally stem from the brain.

I have Cerebral Palsy and so do a lot of great, gifted people in the disability space. Meeting other social workers and other advocates with Cerebral Palsy has been a beautiful thing for me.
I bring this up because there is a lot of stigma and discrimination against those of us who have developmental disabilities. It’s way past time that we look more deeply at how this impacts everyone and fight unnecessary, built constraints.

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