What Exactly Are Developmental Disabilities? DDD NJ Tips

Developmental disabilities are chronic birth impairments that manifest among people at any stage before the age of 22. They may be physical or mental issues that will weigh down a child’s intellectual ability, social interactions and behavioral skills. There are varying degrees of developmental disorders, ranging from mild to severe conditions. Many of the symptoms rather than the conditions themselves are treatable.

Individuals with developmental disabilities can still lead a productive, rewarding, and social life if they receive special individualized attention. New Jersey residents should be able to benefit from Capitol Care, a DDDNJ (Department of Developmental Disabilities, New Jersey) certified behavioral health agency that cares for those diagnosed with chronic mental impairment.

Below are some of the most common developmental disabilities:

Persons with Autistic spectrum disorders will exhibit unusual interests, language delays and poor social and communication skills along with low intellectual ability. Asperger Syndrome is a milder form of autism characterized by poor motor coordination and impairment in behavioral and social interactions.

Cerebral Palsy
Those with C.P. have low muscle movement and coordination. Other signs include pain in the joints and muscles, abnormal speech, intellectual disadvantage (for some), and seizures. The condition may occur before, during or just after birth due to extreme malnutrition, health trauma, brain injury, or infections such as meningitis.

Intellectual Disabilities
These are usually as a result of chromosomal and defects such as Rett syndrome, – common in girls – Fragile x Syndrome, and Down syndrome. Children have a hard time learning and communicating, and their general development is much slower compared to other kids of their age.

Spina Bifida
Spinda Bifida is caused by the inability of the spine to completely close during the first month of pregnancy.  They are often paralyzed and require wheelchairs, have trouble swallowing and may be impaired in their learning.

This condition may be caused by traumatic brain injury at or before infancy and could be chronic or treatable. Persons with Epilepsy are faced with unpredictable, random convulsions, in which they breathe and shake violently, posing great danger to themselves if eating or operating a machine.  

Capitol Care has a specially-structured treatment program that caters for each individual’s needs as diagnosed, and include special schooling and peer support programs to enhance trust and the support needed for recovery and social fulfillment; all this in a safe environment. Their ultimate mission is to promote self-determination and the well-being of these individuals to help them live to their full potential.

Autistic Kids Grow Up - Then What Happens?


One of the most difficult decisions of a family with a child with autism is how to adapt as they grow older. 

An individual with autism must deal with the same language issues, repetitive behaviors and difficulty dealing with social interaction they faced when growing up. Some people with autism make progress after intensive physical and behavioral therapy, but many struggle with basic activities on a daily basis. Most of them need some kind of help for their entire adult life.
Life is more difficult for individuals with autism who find routine activities to be challenging and have problems dealing with anything that is unfamiliar. Many parents worry what will happen to their children with autism after they are gone.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 110 children has an autism spectrum disorder. While there are programs to help them as children, there is less help available for individuals with disabilities once they become adults. Most government-sponsored therapeutic programs end when they turn 21, leaving them with few choices. There are few residential facilities available, but fortunately things are beginning to change. Awareness of autism has grown exponentially since the early 1990’s thanks to the Internet and better knowledge of the disorder.

Capitol Care, Inc. in New Jersey offers several Autism NJ programs designed to help people facing Autism as well as other developmental disabilities and mental illness in their state. Through the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Disability Services, Capitol Care, Inc. has an innovative residential program that allows individuals with disabilities to live in a comfortable and safe environment. The trained staff provides hands on supervision while setting realistic goals.  

Capitol Care, Inc. also offers adult day and individual support programs in New Jersey aimed at helping individuals with disabilities live in an independent environment. All services provide education in setting personal goals and development, including life skills and management and community integration. 

What makes these programs more effective than past efforts is the emphasis on assisting people with autism set specific goals. Therapeutic services cover the kind of life skills that can help an individual with disabilities develop independent skills such as shopping, cooking, and hygiene issues.

More agencies are launching programs like the “Transition Tool Kit” by Autism Speaks, an advocacy group. The service deals with housing, employment, and available public benefits.
When it comes to employment, a person with autism can perform a job that involves repetition quite well. Many have found success in these type of jobs and become solid contributors to society.

Increased awareness and studies are leading to a better understanding of autism and what can be done to improve the lives of people with the disorder. 

For more information, please visit www.capitol-care.org or call 973-426-1447.