WebMD is reporting that one in six children in the United States have developmental disabilities, according to a study in the June issue of the journal, Pediatrics.
One in six!
I knew the number was growing, but that startled me.
Of course, developmental disabilities range all across the board. Autism and ADHD, for example, are spectrum disorders that range from mild to severely disabling. And I’d really like to see their survey instrument since they relied on parent reporting. That’s no knock on parents (since I am one) but I know how easy it is for two different parents to report different things for the exact same condition – or report the same thing when conditions are remarkably different. Alas, it hasn’t been released to the public yet.
Still, one in six!
That has some significant implications for churches seeking to serve families experiencing these types of disabilities. And since many developmental disabilities can be hidden, Pastor John’s strong exhortation to ‘see disability!’ in our midst is even more relevant. We will need to be really intentional to see and welcome the young people who live with developmental disabilities God has given as gifts to the church.
Let us pray, earnestly, for God to provide all that we need!