There are a number of disorders that can affect your child’s growth and development. These disorders can cause everything from learning disabilities to speech delays.
Developmental disorders can take a toll on patients and their caregivers alike, making it important to seek early diagnosis and intervention. We’ll coverthe signs, diagnosis, and treatment of childhood developmental disorders in this quick guide below.
What are Childhood Developmental Disorders?
Risk factors for childhood developmental disorders include fetal exposure to drugs or alcohol, exposure to other environmental toxins, genetics, birth injuries, brain injuries, illnesses, seizures, and childhood neglect.
Symptoms of Childhood Developmental Disorders
A child with a developmental disorder may experience delays in everything from their speech to their physical abilities. They will likely also experience social, educational, and behavioral challenges ranging from mild to severe.
Symptoms of a childhood developmental disorder may include:
- Trouble focusing in school
- Trouble following directions
- Speech delays
- Language processing issues
- Motor skill delays
- Trouble picking up on social cues
- Difficulty relating to others
- Difficulty with changing routines
- Sensory processing issues
- Vision and hearing problems
- Repetitive body movements or vocalizations (stimming)
- Trouble sleeping
- Aggressive or violent behavior
- Poor eye contact
- Lack of facial expression
- Problems with memory
- Trouble with problem-solving
- Trouble learning or applying new information
- Trouble making friends
- Low IQ
Diagnosis of Childhood Developmental Disorders
Most pediatricians conduct regular developmental screenings on all of their patients, communicating with parents to ensure that all kids are reaching their milestones. If a problem is suspected, Visit your child’s doctor may issue a referral to a developmental pediatrician or child psychologist for a complete evaluation.
This evaluation will likely consist of a thorough physical examination, patient symptom history, and an interview of the child’s parent(s).In addition, a child with a suspected developmental disorder may need repeat screening and monitoring throughout their childhood.
Treatment of Childhood Developmental Disorders
While developmental disorders aren’t typically able to be cured, early intervention can help children with these disorders overcome challenges and have a better quality of life.
Intervention typically includes parent education, multidisciplinary therapies (including speech, physical, and behavioral therapy), and educational accommodations for school-age children. The earlier your child receives a diagnosis, the more they can take advantage of these resources. Parents should work with their child’s medical providers, their child’s school, and their state of residence to access all available services.
In addition, the treatment of underlying medical issues may require medication in some cases.
If you suspect that your child may be exhibiting signs of a childhood developmental disorder or delay, prompt evaluation and treatment is crucial. Please give us a call today to schedule a visit with one of our friendly, board-certified pediatricians.