Developmental Disorders

Developmental Disorders

When a child is born with a developmental disability, sometimes called a birth defect, it means there is a chronic condition that will be a life-long challenge. Down syndrome; autism; and language, learning, vision or hearing problems are a few developmental disabilities. While these disabilities are typically present at birth, they can begin at any time up to age 22.

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  • 1 Answer
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    Learning disabilities: Cognitive learning disabilities vary from mild to severe. There are several different types of learning disabilities, including dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, and auditory perceptual deficit. Dyslexia occurs when patients have difficulty translating written images into meaningful language. Patients may be unable to recognize written letters or words. Some may be reading at grade levels far below average. Dysgraphia occurs when patients have difficulty writing letters within a defined space. Patients may take longer to write and have extremely poor handwriting that is almost illegible. Dyscalculia occurs when patients have difficulty doing arithmetic and understanding mathematical concepts. Patients with dyspraxia have poor motor control of large movements. Patients may have poor balance, poor posture, lack of rhythm when dancing, poor hand-eye coordination, and clumsy movement. Visual perceptual deficit occurs when patients have difficulty processing visual information. Although nothing may be wrong with their eyesight, patients may have difficulty identifying an object from a background of other objects or they may not see things in the proper order. Auditory perceptual deficit occurs when patients have difficulty processing auditory information. Although nothing may be wrong with their hearing, the brain does not interpret sounds properly. As a result, patients may have difficulty understanding and remembering things that are said. They may have difficulty distinguishing between similar sounds or hearing one sound over background noise.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.



    For more information visit https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/

    Copyright © 2014 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

  • 1 Answer
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    Learning disabilities: Prompt diagnosis and early treatment of learning disabilities has been shown to improve a patient's long-term prognosis. In order to diagnose a learning disability, a specialist will administer several tests, which may involve writing, speaking, and listening. These tests are designed to measure the patient's strengths and weaknesses. In addition, the specialist will interview the patient and family members about medical history and problems that are being encountered.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.



    For more information visit https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/

    Copyright © 2014 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

  • 1 Answer
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    Ginkgo: Multiple clinical trials have evaluated ginkgo for a syndrome called cerebral insufficiency. This condition, more commonly diagnosed in Europe than the United States, may include poor concentration, confusion, absent-mindedness, decreased physical performance, fatigue, headache, dizziness, depression, and anxiety. It is believed that cerebral insufficiency is caused by decreased blood flow to the brain due to clogged blood vessels. Some studies report benefits of ginkgo in patients with these symptoms, but most have been poorly designed without reliable results. Better studies are needed before a conclusion can be made. Avoid if allergic or hypersensitive to members of the Ginkgoaceae family. If allergic to mango rind, sumac, poison ivy or oak or cashews, then allergy to ginkgo is possible. Avoid with blood-thinners (like aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin®)) due to an increased risk of bleeding. Ginkgo should be stopped two weeks before surgical procedures. Ginkgo seeds are dangerous and should be avoided. Skin irritation and itching may also occur due to ginkgo allergies. Ginkgo should not be used in supplemental doses if pregnant or breastfeeding. Music therapy: Music is used to influence physical, emotional, cognitive and social well-being and improve quality of life for healthy people as well as those who are disabled or ill. It may involve either listening to or performing music, with or without the presence of a music therapist. In people with Alzheimer's dementia and other mental disorders in older adults, music therapy has been found to reduce aggressive or agitated behavior, improve mood, and improve cooperation with daily tasks such as bathing. Music therapy may also be beneficial for dementia-associated neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as depression and aggressive behavior. Additionally, music therapy may help maintain mental performance in elderly adults undergoing surgical procedures, reduce postoperative confusion and delirium, and increase energy levels. Music therapy is generally known to be safe.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.



    For more information visit https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/

    Copyright © 2014 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

  • 1 Answer
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    AAnthony Komaroff, MD, Internal Medicine, answered

    There are a few steps you can take. You might:

    • Discuss how your child is doing in school with his teacher.
    • Ask your child's pediatrician how your child is developing.
    • Consider an educational evaluation.
    • Think about having a full medical evaluation by the pediatrician.
    • Be sure your child's hearing and vision are normal.

    Many children are diagnosed with a learning disability. Remember that:

    Your child is not alone. More than 2.5 million children ages 6 to 11 have learning disabilities in the United States.

    It is not your fault. Most people with a learning disability are born with it. They have some differences in how their brain works.

    Learning disabilities tend to run in families. They affect more boys than girls.

    Learning disabilities take on many forms.

    They can change over time. Children with learning disabilities have more trouble than their classmates with one or more of these skills:

    • Reading
    • Spelling
    • Writing
    • Solving math problems
    • Listening
    • Speaking
    • Reasoning
    • Concentrating
    • Understanding
    You can create a learning plan just for your child.
    Support should be available in your community.
    Stay hopeful. Most children (and families) make lots of progress and are very successful, especially with proper support and programming.
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    ARealAge answered

    Children with childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD) develop normally until they’re three or four (sometimes older) but then dramatically regress, losing language, social, and self-help skills, including loss of bowel and bladder control, and may also develop seizures. Eventually, the child may display autistic characteristics, including mental retardation. CDD is very rare and the least common form of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

    From The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

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    AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    Development refers to changes over time, and in children it refers to changes in thought, behavior, and function. With children, we talk about age-appropriate neurodevelopmental milestones in broad areas of language, motor, and social-adaptive development. When an infant, toddler, or young child is not meeting some or all milestones within the window of expected age, we say that they have a developmental delay. This is really a temporary diagnosis or placeholder identifying a child as being at risk for a developmental disability.
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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    If something doesn't quite feel right, see if your child has any of these speech delay characteristics. The basic rules of thumb are that a child should be saying at least one word (however unclearly) by twelve months of age; at least twenty words by eighteen months; and putting two words together with a vocabulary of fifty words by twenty-four months. Another guideline is that a stranger should be able to understand 50 percent of what a two-year-old is saying, 75 percent of what a three-year-old is saying, and almost all of what a four-year-old is saying.
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    AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    If you and your doctor do determine that your child has some developmental issues, you may be referred to a medical specialist (pediatric neurologist or developmental-behavioral pediatrician) or psychological specialist to determine a diagnosis and a possible cause and the need for further evaluation. Or your doctor may simply refer you directly to a therapist to work on specific problems. Early intervention using experts trained in child therapy is important; seeing the right specialist can help your child get on track. Besides your doctor and interested individuals at your local hospital, a teacher may also have good recommendations. The three major kinds of specialists include:



    • PHYSICAL THERAPISTS: They evaluate the gross motor development skills such as walking by looking at physical capacities and limitations. Therapy includes not only play, but also exercise and behavioral training, as well as equipment or devices if necessary.
    • OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS: They look at fine motor skills and upper extremity use, as well as sensory processing function. They'll also use various equipment and training methods to help teach these developmental skills.
    • SPEECH THERAPISTS: They assess language skills and work on developing speech, vocabulary, understanding the meaning of words, and using sentences. (Hearing should also be assessed whenever there are speech issues.)
  • 3 Answers
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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Parents should voice their concerns and observations to their child's physician when developmental delays first cross their minds, and docs should use developmental surveillance as part of routine pediatric care. This includes taking a careful history of the concerns, recording developmental milestones, and using standardized developmental screening tests.

    If there is evidence of a developmental lag, the child needs an evaluation by a physician experienced in early childhood development such as a pediatrician, neurodevelopmental pediatrician, developmental-behavioral pediatrician, child psychiatrist, or pediatric neurologist, who will refer for further medical testing to identify any associated deficits such as hearing and vision problems. This should be done in tandem with a referral to the state early intervention system so that a clinician experienced in evaluating developmental strengths and weaknesses of young children can develop an educational-developmental intervention plan.

    Services might include speech therapy, occupational therapy (for fine motor and/or feeding and sensory modulation problems), and/or physical therapy (for gross motor problems such as sitting and walking). The child may also be referred to an infant development specialist (for play and cognitive development) and/or behavioral specialist if he demonstrates aggression toward others and himself.
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    Having dyspraxia learning disabilities requires some lifestyle changes. It's important to work with a specialist either in school or outside of school, since these specialists can help you address and identify strengths and weakness. Taking prescribed medication as indicated by your doctor can help improve attention and focus. Therapy and counseling sessions for the entire family is a lifestyle change that can help people with dyspraxia.