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4 Disabilities You Should Know

4 Disabilities You Should Know

Disabilities manifest in many different ways, some of which we can see and some of which we cannot. Visible diseases are conditions that are most recognized and understood. We can see visible disabilities and how it affects someone with our own two eyes. However, there are many other types of disabilities that are less apparent but equally impactful on those that have them.

It’s important to be aware of these other types of disabilities to ensure that we maintain compassion and understanding for those around us. Thus, this article will deep dive into four disabilities you should know.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), also referred to as autism” is a disability that affects one’s behavior and ability to communicate. Those with autism may struggle socially, have restricted interests, or demonstrate repetitive behaviors.

We use the word “spectrum” because the disorder has varying levels of impairment and symptoms that can manifest in different ways. For example, some people with ASD may have significant intellectual disabilities, while others have above-average intelligence. Common symptoms associated with autism include delayed speech development, avoiding eye contact, likeness to predictability and routine, and difficulty socializing.

We don’t fully understand the causes of autism, however, experts think it may involve a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Early intervention treatment can do wonders when it comes to outcomes in those with autism. Such interventions can support skill development and independence.

Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a type of learning disability characterized by troubles with reading and writing. Individuals with dyslexia typically have a hard time with language skills, including things like spelling words, pronouncing words, comprehending text, slow reading, and more. It is estimated that as many of 15 to 20 percent of the population exhibits signs of dyslexia.

Many individuals with dyslexia struggle with self-image because of the stress posed by academic struggles because of their disability. However, it is important to note that although dyslexia is a learning disability, it does not correlate with an individual’s level of intellect. In fact, people with dyslexia can be very intelligent, with the ability to excel in areas that don’t necessitate strong language skills, like computer science, math, physics, art, sales, sports, and more (1).

Mental illness

Disabilities can also affect people’s mental health, too. Mental illness encompasses any condition that impacts one’s emotions, behaviors, thinking, or a combination of these three. It is accompanied by feelings of distress and difficulty performing work, social, and daily functions.

 

Mental illness is incredibly common, affecting as many as one in five adults in the US alone. Depression and anxiety are some of the most common. Depression presents as continued feelings of sadness and lack of interest or pleasure, which can cause sleep troubles, fatigue, and low appetite. Anxiety involves excessive worry, which can manifest as anxiety attacks.

As many as one in 20 adults in the US have what is considered to be a serious mental illness. Serious mental illness causes serious functional impairments, meaning it can severely limit one’s ability to perform major life activities. Examples include conditions such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia (2).

Regardless of the type of mental illness or severity of the mental illness, these are considered hidden illnesses. Upon meeting someone with a mental health disorder, you may not realize that they have a disability. However, their condition can significantly impact their day-to-day lives.

Arthritis

There are many disabilities that can affect an individual physically, however, it may not be apparent to those around them. One such example includes arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis refers to an autoimmune disorder that causes joint pain, swelling, and damage. It is considered an invisible disability because the symptoms and consequences of the disease are not always visible to others.

Arthritis causes swelling in the joints, specifically in the hands, wrists, and knees. This can be painful in the short-term and cause damage in the long-term. As a result, individuals may experience deformities and loss of function of their joints. The pain, coupled with the loss of function, can significantly impact one’s work, productivity, social life, physical capacity, and mental health.

Conclusion

Disabilities can manifest in so many ways, some of which we can’t see with our own two eyes. Thus, awareness and understanding are key to providing support and accommodations to those with disabilities.

 

References

  1. https://msutexas.edu/academics/education/dyslexia/_assets/files/dyslexia-facts.pdf
  2. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/what-is-mental-illness

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