Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month - March


Each year in March, Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month focuses increased awareness on the needs of those with developmental disabilities. The observance also highlights their potential in schools, work, and home.

A developmental disability is a condition usually diagnosed during a child’s development and before adulthood. Developmental disabilities impair several areas of development such as physical, learning, language, or behavior.

A variety of conditions fall into the category of developmental disabilities. However, early diagnosis is one of the keys to limiting the impact of a disability on a child’s long-term development. Developmental milestones such as language, response to sounds, walking, and following simple instructions are just a few milestones in a child’s development. Families and physicians monitor these milestones to identify possible delays.

Screenings also help to identify developmental disabilities. Before and after birth, a mother’s OB-GYN and the pediatrician screen and monitor a child’s progress.

The month also highlights programs and tools that assist those with developmental disabilities to reach their fullest potential. Organizations specializing in the needs of those with developmental disabilities are constantly improving access to resources and increasing the general public’s awareness.

HOW TO OBSERVE #DevelopmentalDisabilitiesAwarenessMonth

  • Learn about the different types of disabilities.
  • Read first-hand stories by people with developmental disabilities. We suggest:
    • Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century by Alice Wong
    • Look Me In the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robinson
    • How Can I Talk If My Lips Don’t Move: Inside My Autistic Mind by Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay
    • The Year My Son and I Were Born: A Story of Down Syndrome, Motherhood, and Self-Discovery by Kathryn Lynard Soper
  • Share your stories.
  • Seek support from local organizations.
  • Help raise awareness by sharing this day on social media.
  • Use #DevelopmentalDisabilitiesAwarenessMonth on social media.


In 1987, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.