Common Developmental Disabilities in Group Homes

April 7th, 2016 by Attorney Roger Weinberg

Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions caused by an impairment in physical, learning, language or behavior abilities. About one in six children in the U.S. have one or more developmental disabilities or other developmental delays. If the disability is severe enough, a person may live in a group home, often because family members are unable to care for them at home. Group homes should be safe, supportive environments, but too often Maryland residents fall victim to neglect and abuse.

A number of developmental disabilities may result in the need for a group home placement:

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. Those with ASD may communicate, interact, behave and learn in ways that are different from the way most other people function. The learning, thinking and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged; as a result, while some with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives, others function well in society without help.
  • Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move, maintain balance and posture. CP is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain that affects a person’s ability to control his or her muscles. Many of those with CP have related conditions, including intellectual disabilities, seizures, vision problems, hearing deficits, difficulty speaking, changes in the spine and joint problems.
  • Intellectual disability, also known as mental retardation, is a term used when there are limits to a person’s ability to learn at an expected level and function in daily life. It can be caused by a problem that starts any time before birth up until a child turns 18 years old. It can be caused by injury, disease or a problem in the brain.
  • Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a genetic disorder caused by changes in the fragile X mental retardation one (FMR1) gene. The FMR1 gene normally makes fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) which is needed for normal brain development. People who have FXS do not make this protein. The exact number of people who have this syndrome is unknown, but it has been estimated that about one in 5,000 males are born with the disorder which is more common in males than females.
  • Muscular dystrophies are a group of diseases caused by defects in a person’s genes. They cause muscle weakness, which decreases mobility and makes daily living difficult. Different types of muscular dystrophy are caused by imperfections in different genes that affect specific groups of muscles and vary in severity.

If a loved one with a developmental disability lives in a group home in Maryland and you believe that he or she has been the victim of abuse or neglect and has been seriously injured or died, contact our office. We can talk about what happened, how it can be prevented from happening again, how the law may apply and your options for obtaining compensation for the injuries that occurred.  At the Law Offices of Roger S. Weinberg, you’ll find compassionate support and experienced advocates to help your family through the tough times. Call 410-825-3161 today to schedule a free consultation.

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