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Developmental Disorders

Developmental disorders are one category of mental health problems. The category identifies children who have difficulty accomplishing early developmental tasks such as language, communication, socialization, and motor skills. Treatment of developmental disorders usually includes medication and specialized training to assist the child in developing needed skills.

As the goal of treatment includes helping the child to maximize his/her abilities while preventing as many new problems from occurring as possible, it becomes particularly important to diagnose any suspected developmental delay or disorder as soon as possible. Early and accurate diagnosis not only helps to identify a possible inherited component to the disorder - so that parents and other family members can become informed of potential risks - but also to better predict the outcome for the child. Assigning a more accurate diagnosis often helps to better anticipate and prevent, in some cases, problems that may arise.

To diagnose a child with a developmental disorder, often several visits and evaluations are necessary. Information gathered by your child's physician will focus around what developmental milestones or certain skill sets your child may not be achieving, in comparison to other children of his/her same age, as expected. The tests recommended by your child's physician will be based on the information gathered from you, as parents, and the findings on physical examination.

There are many different types of developmental disorders that require clinical care by a physician or other healthcare professional. Listed in the directory below are some, for which we have provided a brief overview.

If you cannot find the information in which you are interested, please visit the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Online Resources page in this Web site for an Internet/World Wide Web address that may contain additional information on that topic.

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