Education, research and advocacy reduces the incidence and limits the consequences of intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Every person has the right to grow and develop in nurturing environments that are free from abuse and neglect, free from disease and safe from injury regardless of their social or economic status.
It is The Arc New York’s position that prevention efforts must include:
- Prenatal, perinatal and postnatal care, including frequent physical/developmental checks and adequate nutrition, as well as available and accessible support services, including genetic counseling to high-risk populations.
- Education on the risks of exposing the fetus to X-rays, smoking, alcohol and drugs, prescription and non-prescription medications, and sexually transmissible diseases.
- Immunization against contagious diseases prior to pregnancy.
- Access to primary medical, dental and mental health services during pregnancy.
- Mandatory newborn screening programs done within a time frame that guarantees accurate results and treatment for metabolic disorders such as phenylketonuria, galactosemia and hypothyroidism.
- Advocating for public policies that improve public health and foster education, research and advocacy, reducing the incidence and limits the consequences of intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
- The prevention of childhood injuries resulting in intellectual and other developmental disabilities, including mandatory use of seat belts, safety seats and helmets.
- Removal of contaminants, which are known contributors to intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
- Enforcement of existing public policy designed to prevent intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
- Recognition of the importance of prevention and the responsibility to take a proactive role in educating the public about the known causes of intellectual and other developmental disabilities and ways in which they may be prevented.
- Advocacy to ensure that families in which one or both parents have an intellectual and other developmental disability receive all of the supports and services necessary.
- Infants and toddlers, birth through age three years, must have access to early intervention services administered through the NYS Department of Health, for evaluation, eligibility determination, and if found eligible, appropriate intervention services to improve child and family development.