While Cerebral Palsy is the disability that launched UCP many years ago, today United Cerebral Palsy of Georgia supports people with a wide range of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Intellectual disability can be caused by a problem that starts any time before a person turns 18 years old – even before birth. It can be caused by injury, disease, or a problem in the brain. For many people, the cause of their intellectual disability is not known. Some of the most common known causes of intellectual disability – like Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, fragile X syndrome, genetic conditions, and infections – happen before birth. Others happen while a baby is being born or soon after birth. Still other causes of intellectual disability do not occur until a child is older; these might include serious head injury, stroke, or certain infections.
Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.
Having a disability does not mean a person is not healthy or that they cannot be healthy. Being healthy means the same thing for all of us—getting and staying well so we can lead full, active lives. That includes having the tools and information to make healthy choices and knowing how to prevent illness.