Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and World Down Syndrome Day Highlight the Importance of Speech Therapy

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and World Down Syndrome Day Highlight the Importance of Speech Therapy

In March, two important campaigns will take place to raise awareness about the needs and
challenges of people living with developmental disabilities.

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, which is hosted by the National
Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, is designed to educate the public
about the barriers people with exceptionalities face and how those who provide vital
services to them help to significantly improve their lives.

Similarly, March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day, which was created by Down
Syndrome International in 2006. On this day, people with Down syndrome, as well as
their loved ones, advocates, and service providers, are encouraged to share their stories
and participate in events and fundraisers that promote a human rights approach to

The Impact of Developmental Disabilities on Speech

Both March campaigns provide an excellent opportunity to highlight the valuable work of
speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who provide help people with communication challenges.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 17% of children are
living with at least one developmental disability that can impact their physical health, language,
behavior or learning. When speech or communications is affected, exceptional children may
have challenges finding the right words to use, putting words together in a sentence or forming
the correct sounds. They may also have difficulty understanding the meaning of words, making
it harder for them to communicate and decipher what other people are saying to them.

The CDC also reports that 6,000 babies in the United States are born with Down
syndrome—making it the most diagnosed genetic condition in the country. Research shows
that Down syndrome is associated with specific physical characteristics—such as variations in
the oral cavity, palate, and tongue—which can negatively impact children’s speech.
Additionally, Down syndrome can cause exceptional children to have challenges with
vocabulary development and the ability to put words in the right order.

How Virtual Speech Therapy Can Help

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and World Down Syndrome Day are important
reminders that speech therapy can enhance the lives of exceptional children. These services not
only increase their speech and communication skills, but can also help to build children’s
confidence and improve overall development and interpersonal relationships.

Thanks to expanded insurance coverage for Great Speech virtual speech therapy services, more
people can access the services of our licensed speech-language pathologists in the comfort of
their own homes. Children and parents may already be using virtual care for primary care,
urgent care, behavioral health or other services, and can now take advantage of this convenient
option to access virtual speech therapy services for exceptional children — whenever needed.
Also, virtual speech therapy can help children maintain a solid routine in the environment they
feel most comfortable, which can ease anxiety about receiving assistance.

For more information about the benefits of virtual speech therapy, visit, and to get the process started, schedule a free introductory call