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I would like to comment on the recent article about the new group home opening on Dixon Dr. in Tonawanda. I work with people with developmental disabilities and I think the residents of the neighborhood, and general population for that matter, do not know what a developmental disability is. It is a condition that a child is born with or develops in their early developmental years, conditions such as an intellectual disorder(formerly called mental retardation),Autism, Cerebral Palsy and Seizure disorders. Some of the comments in the article mention that the residents think developmentally disabled children are "violent" and "don't want them walking the neighborhood and beating up other kids". First of all, the children that will use this home will be supervised and not able to walk around the neighborhood without staff-they are disabled children! Also the children can be in wheelchairs and some of them may not talk! Some may have Autism so severe that they have no interest in other children. I think the general population think that developmentally disabled means mentally ill, and that is not true at all. I am glad a representative of the agency was there to discuss with the residents, and hopefully the residents are a little more educated now. Honestly though, the children using that home are more at risk of the children in that neighborhood being mean to them and especially if the parents of the children in the neighborhood were the residents complaining. Children learn behavior from their parents.
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