Governor McDonnell Proclaims March Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

April 17, 2013

News: For Immediate Release
Governor McDonnell Proclaims March Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Winchester, Virginia, March 15, 2013 –Last week, Governor McDonnell proclaimed March Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in the state of Virginia. In his proclamation, the governor recognized the value and potential of the nearly 145,000 adults and children across the Commonwealth who are estimated to have a developmental disability.

“Individuals with developmental disabilities do not want to be defined by their disability; they want to be known for their abilities,” said Governor McDonnell. “There is much we can do to encourage their independence and allow them the choices anyone else would want—such as having a home, being near family, having employment opportunities and being accepted in their own communities. As people with developmental disabilities successfully engage in these aspects of society and live more productive, fuller lives in their own communities, we begin to see what they are capable of, instead of taking a limited view of what they cannot do.”

According to recent data and statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of Developmental Disabilities has increased 17.1%–that’s about 1.8 million more children with Developmental Disabilities in 2006-2008 compared to a decade earlier. The prevalence of autism has increased by 289.5%.

Across the state of Virginia:

  • 144,018 children and adults are estimated to have a developmental disability.
  • One in 91 children is estimated to have an autism spectrum disorder.
  • Approximately 18,425 infants, toddlers and young children (birth through age 5) have developmental delays requiring early intervention services.
  • There are currently 9,885 people served in Virginia communities on the Intellectual Disability (ID) or Developmental Disability (DD) Medicaid waiver, 7,728 on the waiting list to receive these community waiver services so they can live closer to home, and 866 individuals being served among Virginia’s five training centers.

“Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month provides a great opportunity to raise awareness and educate community members about how organizations providing services across the Commonwealth are partnering with one another to create better outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities,” said Jim Gaynor, CEO/President.

One example of partnering with local agencies to create better outcomes is the Infant and Toddler Connection (ITC) of Shenandoah Valley. Grafton became the local lead agency for the ITC of Shenandoah Valley in 2010. On an annual basis, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is required to make “determinations” for local early intervention systems using four categories. The attached 2013 Local Early Intervention System Determination Assessment report highlights the ITC of Shenandoah Valley. Data supports that the ITC of Shenandoah Valley has met requirements for 2012 and 2013 and the OSEP requirements are at 100% in all monitoring areas. This achievement of 100% for two consecutive years is a first for the ITC of Shenandoah Valley and confirms the commitment and dedication of the early intervention team in meeting the needs of children and families who need services.

About Grafton Integrated Health Network
Grafton Integrated Health Network is a private, nonprofit organization that has provided a full continuum of services to people overcoming emotional, behavioral or developmental challenges. As an industry leader in behavioral healthcare, we empower individuals to lead better lives. Grafton provides continuous and coordinated services from short-term stabilization and residential services to outpatient to educational and career and technical training. These programs along with a data-driven, trauma-informed model help the organization to develop successful plans of care and clients to thrive in a variety of settings.

Grafton provides a continuum of services to children, youth and adults including applied behavior analysis, early intervention, psychiatric residential treatment facilities, a short-term stabilization program, special education programs, community-based group homes, intensive outpatient program and outpatient services.

For more information on Grafton Integrated Health Network’s services and expertise, please visit

Shweta Adyanthaya
Director, Communications
Tel: 703-777-3485 ext 1326