Tropical Texas Behavioral Health Celebrates IDD Month

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March is Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Awareness Month across the nation.  The purpose of this month is to bring awareness to our local communities about the value and the needs of persons with an IDD diagnosis.

Tropical Texas Behavioral Health (TTBH) provides services to individuals with an IDD diagnosis and their families.  The purpose of these services is to empower our consumers through a person center focus so they can accomplish full and productive lives, as well as to reach their hopes and dreams as any other citizen would do.  TTBH has served persons with an IDD diagnosis in Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy Counties since 1967. 

Today, about 9,739,525 persons, 3% of the population in the United States, have an IDD diagnosis.  About 292,185 of these individuals will need to receive services in facilities or homes with a high level of care.  The remainder are able to reside in the community with the correct amount of support and training.

Intellectual Disability (ID) is defined as a usually permanent condition originating sometime between birth and the age 18. The person's general intellectual functioning is significantly below average (roughly an IQ of 69 or below) and his or her behavior does not meet the level of personal independence and social responsibility expected of the person's age and culture.  Intellectual Disability (ID) is caused by conditions that hinder the development.  Some of the identified causes include: 

  • Certain illnesses experienced by the mother during pregnancy.
  • Chromosome abnormality.
  • Substance abuse.
  • Metabolic disorders.
  • Destruction of brain tissue or interference with brain development.
  • Environmental factors.
  • Brain Injuries associated to accidents or strokes.

Intellectual Disability is not Mental Illness.  Most individuals with an IDD diagnosis can learn and are capable of doing many things.  More time, effort, and person centered teaching methods are needed to help these individuals learn.  The acquisition of knowledge and skills is fostered by attention, time and patience.

TTBH also provides assistance to individuals with a Related Condition diagnosis.  A Related Condition (RC) is a severe and chronic disability that is attributed to Cerebral Palsy or Epilepsy; or conditions, other than Mental Illness (MI), found to be closely related to Intellectual Disability (ID) because the condition usually results in impairment of general intellectual functioning, self-care, understanding and use of language, learning, mobility, self-direction and capacity for independent living.  A Related Condition becomes manifested before age of 22 and it is likely to continue indefinitely.

Individuals with ID and RC diagnosis have strengths, abilities and inherent value.  They need dignity, respect, independence, quality of life, human and civil rights, community inclusion and self- determination.  They also need support systems to help them make informed decisions and choices.

TTBH, a center with 50 years of dedicated quality service to the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) and whose vision is to lead in the innovative management of comprehensive behavioral healthcare resources, will continue facilitating services and empowering individuals with and IDD diagnosis and their families.  TTBH encourages all members in our local communities to also become advocates and active participants in the lives of people with an IDD diagnosis.

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