What causes disabilities?
Disability can be caused by many factors. In this section, we have grouped them into three main areas:
Abnormalities in genes and genetic inheritance can cause intellectual disability in children. In the USA, Down Syndrome is the most common genetic condition, and about 6,000 babies with Down Syndrome are born each year. Sometimes, diseases, illnesses, and over-exposure to x-rays can cause a genetic disorder.
Environmental / Life Events
Poverty and malnutrition in pregnant mothers can cause a deficiency in vital minerals and result in deformation issues in the unborn child. After birth, poverty and malnutrition can also cause poor development of vital organs in the child, which can eventually lead to disability.
The use of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, the exposure to certain toxic chemicals and illnesses, toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, rubella and syphilis by a pregnant mother can cause intellectual disability to the child. Childhood diseases such as a whooping cough, measles, and chicken pox may lead to meningitis and encephalitis. This can cause damage to the brain of the child. Toxic material such as lead and mercury can damage the brain too.
Unfortunate life events such as drowning, automobile accidents, falls and so on can result in people losing their sight, hearing, limbs and other vital parts of their body and cause disability.
The human body is a phenomenal thing. Scientists have still not figured out what and how some things in the body, cells, brain, and genes come about. Humans have still not found all the answers to all the defects in the human body.
Sometimes society makes it difficult for people with some impairment to function freely. When society develops infrastructure such as houses, roads, parks and other public places without consideration to people with impairment, the basically make it impossible for them to take care of themselves. For example, if a school is built with a ramp in addition to stairs, it makes it easy for people with wheelchairs to move about freely. This way, their impairment is not made worse. Lack of education, support services, health and opportunities for people with impairment can cause additional disability to people with disabilities and even people with no disability.