Developmental screening is a routine diagnostic procedure used to identify any potential developmental delays. Early detection is a valuable tool in treating nearly every condition, in order to end the problem before it spreads and prevent future damage. Developmental screenings can identify delays that can indicate autism, intellectual disability, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, among others.
Screenings can be performed through simple questioning during a regular checkup to ensure that your child is progressing at a rate that is considered normal. This takes only a few minutes at each doctor's visit, but can play a major role in identifying and then treating early developmental conditions.
Angelman syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes developmental delay and neurological problems. Infants with Angelman syndrome usually appear normal at birth, but most have feeding difficulties in their first month. By six to twelve months, children with Angelman syndrome display observable development delays, and by two to three years often experience seizures and speech impairment. Children with this syndrome eventually exhibit such symptoms as hyperactivity, sleep disorders, and severe movement and balance disorders. Behavioral therapies are important in allowing individuals with Angelman syndrome to reach their maximum developmental potential.
Down syndrome is a genetic condition caused by an extra number 21 chromosome. It is a lifelong condition that causes some level of mental retardation and difficulties with complex reasoning and judgment. With support and training in self-help skills, people with Down syndrome can lead happy, productive, independent lives. Later in life, it is not uncommon for people with Down syndrome to require psychotherapy for conditions such as depression or Alzheimer's.
Children with receptive or expressive language disorders have trouble successfully communicating with others. Receptive language disorder indicates that the child has difficulty understanding what other people say, following directions, and organizing thoughts. Expressive language disorder indicates that child has difficulty putting words together to create sentences and meaning. Both of these disorders require speech therapy, and psychological therapy is also recommend because these disorders may have related emotional or behavioral problems.
Intellectual disability refers to significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior. Generally an IQ between 70-75 or lower indicates the presence of an intellectual disability. Limited adaptive behaviors can include difficulties with social skills, conceptual skills, and practical skills. For a long time, people with intellectual disabilities were ignored by the therapeutic community, but this is no longer the case. Psychiatrists and psychologists now realize that intellectual impairment can have significant emotional and psychological affects that should be treated by a trained mental health professional.
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