A child’s development is a continuous process, marked by identifiable advances in skills and behaviour. The rate at which an individual develops is influenced by many factors, including the family environment and physical health. In some children, psychological disorders may cause developmental delays.
The first two articles in this section cover sleeping and eating problems, which can be very disruptive to the whole family but which can often be overcome with simple self-help measures. The following article covers childhood obesity, a problem that is becoming increasingly common in developed countries and one that could have long-term health consequences. Soiling (encopresis) is dealt with next, followed by an article that covers the more serious problems that may be caused by autism spectrum disorders, which result in failure to develop normal communication and social skills. Autism, which may be linked to brain abnormalities, is a life long condition, but its effects can usually be reduced by appropriate education and therapy.
The next articles describe disorders that may delay children’s achievement of certain developmental milestones. These range from generalized learning disabilities, which can affect all areas of development, to specific learning disabilities and speech difficulties in an otherwise normal child.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder, covered in the last two articles, are behavioural disorders that tend to have underlying medical, psychiatric, or social causes. Affected children usually respond to skilled guidance and therapy.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.
The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.