We are on the front line in Atlantic County to make change happen for people diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
We help people with Autism, Down syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), as well as, disabilities that are a result of problems at the time of birth or health problems such as whooping cough, measles or meningitis and exposure to environmental toxins like lead or mercury.
The impact of having an intellectual disability varies considerably, just as the range of abilities varies considerably among all people. Children may take longer to learn to speak, walk and take care of their personal needs, such as dressing or eating. It may take longer to learn in school.
As adults, some people are able to lead independent lives in the community without paid supports. A small percentage will have serious, lifelong limitations in functioning. However, with early intervention, an appropriate education and supports as an adult, all can lead satisfying lives in the community.
Sometimes intellectual disability is also referred to as developmental disability which is a broader term that includes ASD (autism spectrum disorders), epilepsy, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, fetal alcohol syndrome (or FASD) and other disorders that occur during the developmental period (birth to age 18).
The major differences are in the age of onset, the severity of limitations, and the fact that a person with a developmental disability definition may or may not have a low I.Q. While some people with intellectual disability will also meet the definition of developmental disability, it is estimated that at least half do not meet the requirements for the developmental disability definition.
Our mission is to improve the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our community. Through direct services, advocacy, education and prevention activities, we work in partnership with individuals and their families to make choices possible about how and where they live, learn, play and work.
The Arc of Atlantic County was founded in 1961 when a group of concerned parents and friends incorporated the organization. A daycare program and a pre-school were the first services available to the public. Since then, The Arc of Atlantic County has continued to expand the services offered and the people served in Atlantic County.