In addition to pediatric clinical services provided by Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities seeks to address health disparities faced by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan. While the quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities has improved, leading to longer life spans and increased opportunities for independence and employment, their health is worse than the general population in preventable ways.
Some known health disparities faced by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, compared to the general population include:
- Difficulty accessing appropriate health and dental care for both acute needs and preventive care
- Increased prevalence of chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiac disease, and stroke
- Higher medical expenses
- Undiagnosed poor vision
Despite these disparities, having an intellectual or developmental disability does not mean that a person is not healthy. We are engaged in a multi-pronged effort to improve health for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through education to current and future healthcare providers, technical assistance, research, and advocacy.