According to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published online today in the journal Pediatrics, one out of every six U.S. children has been diagnosed with a developmental disability. For the purpose of this study, developmental disabilities have been defined as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; intellectual disability; cerebral palsy; autism; seizures; stuttering or stammering; moderate to profound hearing loss; blindness; learning disorders; and/or other developmental delays. Here’s a link to the study abstract. Here’s a link to a well-written article discussing some possible causes for the increased rates of developmental disabilities reported in the study.
The following quote was attributed to the study’s lead author, Coleen Boyle, Director of the U.S. National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities:
“Children are our future, and many of these children can grow up to be very productive citizens, so we need to invest in programs to help facilitate their development.”
If this is true of society at large, how much more true should it be of the church? While churches don’t necessarily need to create “programs” to address the spiritual growth of kids with developmental disabilities, the church certainly needs to devote time and energy to acquiring the resources to lend support to parents of kids with developmental disabilities as they function in their role as primary faith trainers of their children.