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My friend's reaction to the diagnosis reminded me of similar responses from other parents whose children have some type of physical or mental disability.Between 500 and 600 million people worldwide are living with some kind of disability. According to statistics from the World Health Organization, approximately 10 percent of children and youth in the world (about 200 million) have a disability.Latin America and the Caribbean have approximately 50 million people with disabilities, 90 percent unemployed and 82 percent living in poverty. There are many causes of disabilities in children. Increasingly, the continuous exposure to environmental toxins is considered an important cause of disability.In the United States, almost 17 percent of children (about one in six children) suffer from some form of disability.All these situations pose a number of challenges about how to better cope with disabilities in children. Disability experts have concluded that early intervention can significantly improve children affected with disabilities. Thankfully, the deinstitutionalization of children with disabilities has become the norm.
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