childhood disorders definition
The blood levels of certain enzymes and minerals differ markedly in the rapidly growing child from those in the late adolescent, whose growth is almost complete. ADHD is characterized by a pervasive pattern of inattention and/or hyperactive and impulsive behavior that interferes with normal functioning. Boys and girls of all ages and ethnic/racial backgrounds and living in all regions of the United States experience mental disorders. The unique nutritional requirements of children make them unusually susceptible to deficiency states: vitamin-D deficiency causes rickets, a common disorder of children in developing countries, and only rarely causes any disease in adults. Fetal blood can be obtained for analysis, and certain techniques permit direct viewing of the fetus. At the same time, some diseases that are common in adults are infrequent in children. ADHD occurs in about 5% of children (APA, 2013). Bruno Bettelheim (an Austrian-born American child psychologist who was heavily influenced by Sigmund Freud’s ideas) suggested that a mother’s ambivalent attitudes and her frozen and rigid emotions toward her child were the main causal factors in childhood autism. Because vaccines contain immunogens (substances that fight infections), the investigators examined medical records to see how many immunogens children received to determine if those children who received more immunogens were at greater risk for developing autism spectrum disorder. Despite the retraction, the reporting in popular media led to concerns about a possible link between vaccines and autism persisting. Common childhood mental illnesses and developmental disorders include Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety Disorders, Autism and similar Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Adjustment Disorders, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Conduct Disorder. The DSM-IV-TR includes ten subcategories of disorders including mental retardation, Learning Disorders, Motor Skills Disorders, Communication Disorders, … People with this condition tend … The outlook for recovery from diseases in children is often better than it is for adults, since the child’s additional capacity of growth may counteract the adverse influences of disease. Although some adults may also relate to … Of even more importance, however, is the fact that adult norms cannot be applied to younger age groups. Childhood mental disorders affect many children and families. For instance, the person might learn and memorize every detail about something even though doing so serves no apparent purpose. The brain? A recent study found that 29.3% of adults who had been diagnosed with ADHD decades earlier still showed symptoms (Barbaresi et al., 2013). While taking care of his son while his wife was in the hospital giving birth to a second child, Hoffman noticed that the boy had trouble concentrating on his homework, had a short attention span, and had to repeatedly go over easy homework to learn the material (Jellinek & Herzog, 1999). However, there are a group of conditions that, when present, are diagnosed early in childhood, often before the time a child enters school. Neurodevelopmental disorders are a group of disorders that are typically diagnosed during childhood and are characterized by developmental deficits in personal, social, academic, and intellectual realms; these disorders include attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder. Here is an instructive and poignant video highlighting severe autism. Autism spectrum disorder is probably the most misunderstood and puzzling of the neurodevelopmental disorders. Diagnosis and general considerations of treatment and prevention, Disease-affecting differences between children and adults, Diseases transmitted through the placenta or due to placental dysfunction, https://www.britannica.com/science/childhood-diseases-and-disorders, University of Michigan Health System - YourChild: Development and Behavior Resources - Children with Chronic Condition. Although it is believed by some that autism is triggered by the MMR vaccination, evidence does not support this claim. Generally, when we speak about childhood disorders, we are referring to mental and emotional problems that most often occur and are diagnosed when children are school aged or younger. As with ADHD, genetic factors appear to play a prominent role in the development of autism spectrum disorder; exposure to environmental pollutants such as mercury have also been linked to the development of this disorder. Most of the disorders we have discussed so far are typically diagnosed in adulthood, although they can and sometimes do occur during childhood. The risk of substance abuse problems appears to be even greater for those with ADHD who also exhibit antisocial tendencies (Marshal & Molina, 2006). Remember, the genetics studies discussed above suggested that the family environment does not seem to play much of a role in the development of this disorder; if it did, we would expect the concordance rates to be higher for fraternal twins and adoptive siblings than has been demonstrated. The converse may also be true, however. In this section, we will discuss two such disorders: attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder and autism. In contrast, removal of one kidney in the adult usually results in a residual functional capacity equal to 70 to 75 percent of that of two normal kidneys. Socioeconomic factors—such as better maternal nutrition and obstetrical care and improved housing, water supplies, and sewage disposal—have been of prime importance in this decline, together with better hygiene at home, safer infant feeding techniques, and widespread immunization against common infectious diseases. Thus, being in a period of rapid growth and development may favourably affect the child’s recovery in the course of a disease. … In examination of the infant, inaccessibility is no special problem, but his small size and limited ability to communicate require special techniques and skills. What the DSM-5 refers to as autism spectrum disorder today, is a direct extension of Kanner’s work. The symptoms of this disorder were first described by Hans Hoffman in the 1920s. Notably, the study that fueled the controversy reported that 8 out of 12 children—according to their parents—developed symptoms consistent with autism spectrum disorder shortly after receiving a vaccination. Drug toxicity of importance at one stage of development may be of no concern at another; for example, the commonly used antibiotic tetracycline is best avoided in treatment of the child younger than age 10 because it is deposited in teeth, in which enamel is also being deposited, and stains them. Professors Frances Gardner and Daniel S. Shaw say the evidence is limited that problems in preschool indicate problems later in life, or that behavioral issues are evidence of a true disorder. Childhood Psychiatric Disorders usually first diagnosed in Infancy and Early Childhood. Some individuals with autism spectrum disorder, particularly those with better language and intellectual skills, can live and work independently as adults. Frequently, the hyperactive child comes across as noisy and boisterous. Somewhat troubling, this study also reported that nearly 81% of those whose ADHD persisted into adulthood had experienced at least one other comorbid disorder, compared to 47% of those whose ADHD did not persist. In the late 1990s, a prestigious medical journal published an article purportedly showing that autism is triggered by the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. A statistical review of 16 studies, however, concluded that sugar consumption has no effect at all on the behavioral and cognitive performance of children (Wolraich, Wilson, & White, 1995). Older children, especially adolescents, are exposed, as are adults, to environmental hazards that they deliberately seek, such as cigarette smoking and the use of alcohol and other drugs. A child with ADHD shows a constant pattern of inattention and/or hyperactive and impulsive behavior that interferes with normal functioning (APA, 2013). Inapparent environmental causes of diseases, such as poisonings, must be considered and investigated thoroughly, by methods that at times resemble those of a detective. For example, California saw an increase of 273% in reported cases from 1987 through 1998 (Byrd, 2002); between 2000 and 2008, the rate of autism diagnoses in the United States increased 78% (CDC, 2012). Children diagnosed with ADHD face considerably worse long-term outcomes than do those children who do not receive such a diagnosis. Childhood disease and disorder, any illness, impairment, or abnormal condition that affects primarily infants and children—i.e., those in the age span that begins with the fetus and extends through adolescence. These factors include exposure to pollutants, such as plant emissions and mercury, urban versus rural residence, and vitamin D deficiency (Kinney, Barch, Chayka, Napoleon, & Munir, 2009). Diagnosis of the diseases of childhood involves special considerations and techniques; for example, in evaluating genetic disorders, not only the patient but his entire family may need to be examined. Some of the signs of inattention include great difficulty with and avoidance of tasks that require sustained attention (such as conversations or reading), failure to follow instructions (often resulting in failure to complete school work and other duties), disorganization (difficulty keeping things in order, poor time management, sloppy and messy work), lack of attention to detail, becoming easily distracted, and forgetfulness. In a certain sense, it is almost as though these individuals live in a personal and isolated social world others are simply not privy to or able to penetrate. Finally, a major segment of pediatric care concerns the treatment and prevention of congenital anomalies, both functional and structural. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Repetitive patterns of behavior or interests can be exhibited a number of ways. Child psychology experts from the University of Oxford and University of Pittsburgh say that the term “disorder” should be used cautiously for children up to 5 years old, and question its validity. Treatment of childhood disease requires similar considerations with regard to various stages of growth and development. For children with speech disorders, it can be tough forming the sounds that make up speech or putting sentences together. Burt (2009), in a review of 26 studies, reported that the median rate of concordance for identical twins was .66 (one study reported a rate of .90), whereas the median concordance rate for fraternal twins was .20. For example, certain specific disorders, such as precocious puberty, are unique to children; others, such as acute nephritis—inflammation of the kidney—are common in children and infrequent in adults. The child’s behavior is hasty, impulsive, and seems to occur without much forethought; these characteristics may explain why adolescents and young adults diagnosed with ADHD receive more traffic tickets and have more automobile accidents than do others (Thompson, Molina, Pelham, & Gnagy, 2007). Most instances of the common communicable diseases, such as measles, chicken pox, and mumps, are encountered in childhood. The major environmental hazards that endanger the health of young children are either unavoidable, as in air pollution, or accidental, as in poisoning and in traffic injuries. Hyperactivity is characterized by excessive movement, and includes fidgeting or squirming, leaving one’s seat in situations when remaining seated is expected, having trouble sitting still (e.g., in a restaurant), running about and climbing on things, blurting out responses before another person’s question or statement has been completed, difficulty waiting one’s turn for something, and interrupting and intruding on others. They also are less well-liked and more often rejected by their peers (Hoza et al., 2005). Although the research discussed above has shed some light on its causes, science is still a long way from complete understanding of the disorder. Just like adults can have an anxiety disorder, children can also have one. Stress-Related Disorders. Like adults, children can experience the normal mood many of us refer to … When permanent teeth are fully formed, the deposition of tetracycline no longer occurs. Like all disorders, however, there are no simple explanations for autism spectrum disorder. His mother reports that he came out the womb kicking and screaming, and he has not stopped moving since. Children & neurodevelopmental behavioural intellectual disorders NEURODEVELOPMENTAL BEHAVIORAL INTELLECTUAL DISORDERS Inconsistencies in terminology and definitions European Definition: Neurodevelopmental disorders are disabilities in the functioning of the brain that affect a child’s behaviour, memory or ability to learn Modification, adaptation, and original content. The enormous volume of electronic information pertaining to autism spectrum disorder, combined with how difficult it can be to grasp complex scientific concepts, can make separating good research from bad challenging (Downs, 2008). A number of environmental factors are also thought to be associated with increased risk for autism spectrum disorder, at least in part, because they contribute to new mutations. Mental health disorders in children are generally defined as delays or disruptions in developing age-appropriate thinking, behaviors, social skills or regulation of emotions. These children do not make eye contact with others and seem to prefer playing alone rather than with others. Even politicians and several well-known celebrities weighed in; for example, actress Jenny McCarthy (who believed that a vaccination caused her son’s autism) co-authored a book on the matter. Early theories of autism placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of the child’s parents, particularly the mother. Thus, parents may be quick to take their children to a doctor if they believe their child possesses these symptoms, or teachers may be more likely now than in the past to notice the symptoms and refer the child for evaluation. The bone fracture that results in permanent deformity in the adult, for example, may heal with complete structural normality in the child, as continued growth results in remodeling and reshaping of the bone. In a recent study, investigators found that the parent-reported prevalence of ADHD among children (4–17 years old) in the United States increased by 22% during a 4-year period, from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007 (CDC, 2010). Children with this disorder show signs of significant disturbances in three main areas: (a) deficits in social interaction, (b) deficits in communication, and (c) repetitive patterns of behavior or interests. How to use disorder in a sentence. Why does concern over vaccines and autism spectrum disorder persist? These include essential hypertension (high blood pressure of unknown cause) and gout. Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. Researchers have not … Conduct disorder (CD) is an impulse control disorder that usually develops during childhood or adolescence. Later, it was discovered that many hyperactive children—those who are fidgety, restless, socially disruptive, and have trouble with impulse control—also display short attention spans, problems with concentration, and distractibility. The use of computers, video games, iPhones, and other electronic devices has become pervasive among children in the early 21st century, and these devices could potentially shorten children’s attentions spans. Indeed, a recent study compared the vaccination histories of 256 children with autism spectrum disorder with that of 752 control children across three time periods during their first two years of life (birth to 3 months, birth to 7 months, and birth to 2 years) (DeStefano, Price, & Weintraub, 2013). (Klein et al., 2012). In terms of their exposure to immunogens in vaccines, overall, there is not a significant difference between children with autism spectrum disorder and their age-matched controls without the disorder (DeStefano et al., 2013). Mental disorders in children are quite common, occurring in about one-quarter of this age group in any given year. The anxiety is not limited to any specific stimuli, but appears at various times. Among the genes involved are those important in the formation of synaptic circuits that facilitate communication between different areas of the brain (Gauthier et al., 2011). In recognition of such findings, the DSM-III (published in 1980) included a new disorder: attention deficit disorder with and without hyperactivity, now known as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. These deficits can also include problems in using and understanding nonverbal cues (e.g., facial expressions, gestures, and postures) that facilitate normal communication. All things considered, the evidence seems to point to the conclusion that ADHD is triggered more by genetic and neurological factors and less by social or environmental ones. In comparison to the favourable effect of these and other preventive measures, an increased capacity to treat diseases, even with such powerful tools as the antibiotic drugs, has had relatively little impact. Compared to children without ADHD, those with ADHD appear to have smaller frontal lobe volume, and they show less frontal lobe activation when performing mental tasks. There is not a relationship between vaccinations and autism spectrum disorders. Many obese children become obese adults, especially if one or both parents are obese. Conduct disorder Children with conduct disorder (CD) are often judged as ‘bad kids’ because of their delinquent behaviour and refusal to accept rules. Children and Depression. Disorders of nutrition, still of great concern, especially but not exclusively in developing countries, are of extreme importance to the growing and developing child. Compared to their non-ADHD counterparts, children with ADHD have lower grades and standardized test scores and higher rates of expulsion, grade retention, and dropping out (Loe & Feldman, 2007). Childhood Anxiety Disorder Childhood anxiety disorder, also called overanxious disorder of childhood and/or childhood generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is mental health disorder that causes chronic and persistent worries. These disturbances appear early in life and cause serious impairments in functioning (APA, 2013). In what must certainly stand as one of the more controversial assertions in psychology over the last 50 years, he wrote, “I state my belief that the precipitating factor in infantile autism is the parent’s wish that his child should not exist” (Bettelheim, 1967, p. 125). Please select which sections you would like to print: While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Child mental problems are described and contained within a single large chapter, and considered separately from adult disorders, even when adult disorders exist, which are similar in nature. This study also found that the median concordance rate for unrelated (adoptive) siblings was .09; although this number is small, it is greater than 0, thus suggesting that the environment may have at least some influence. Five-year-old boys average 44 pounds (20 kilograms) in weight but may vary from 33 to 53 pounds (15 to 24 kilograms). Conduct disorder extends beyond normal teenage rebellion. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Trauma and stressor-related disorders involve exposure to a stressful or … Other specialized techniques permit examination of the fetus by X-ray and ultrasound, and by electrocardiography and electroencephalography (methods for observing and recording the electrical activity of the heart and the brain, respectively). Chickenpox. In some cases, the person with autism spectrum disorder might show highly restricted and fixated interests that appear to be abnormal in their intensity. He called this condition early infantile autism, and it was characterized mainly by an inability to form close emotional ties with others, speech and language abnormalities, repetitive behaviors, and an intolerance of minor changes in the environment and in normal routines (Bregman, 2005). He has a sweet disposition, but always seems to be in trouble with his teachers, parents, and after-school program counselors. Not likely. The inability of infants and small children to swallow pills and capsules necessitates the use of other forms and alternate routes of administration. Childhood is a period typified by change, both in the child and in the immediate Previously, ADHD was thought to fade away by adolescence. Although, for the most part, the diseases of childhood are similar to those of the adult, there are several important differences. Corrections? Children who are obese are above the normal weight for their age and height.Childhood obesity is particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start children on the path to health problems that were once considered adult problems — diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. A seminal paper published in 1943 by psychiatrist Leo Kanner described an unusual neurodevelopmental condition he observed in a group of children. They include CDD, Rett's Syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder - not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Genetic and neurobiological factors contribute to the development of ADHD, which can persist well into adulthood and is often associated with poor long-term outcomes. Undoubtedly, part of the appeal of this hypothesis was that it provided a simple explanation of (and treatment for) behavioral problems in children. Disintegrative disorder in children is also known as Hellers syndrome. Since the proliferation of the Internet in the 1990s, parents have been constantly bombarded with online information that can become magnified and take on a life of its own. By the late 20th century, in most countries the death rate for infants under one year of age had decreased until it was scarcely more than a 10th of the rate in the 1930s. The delayed consequences of certain forms of treatment, especially with radioactive isotopes—substances that give off radiation in the process of breaking down into other substances—might be of no consequence in the case of an elderly person with a life expectancy of 10 or 20 years but might deter a physician from the use of such treatments for the infant with his whole life in front of him. Recall that one of the functions of the frontal lobes is to inhibit our behavior. A mental illness, or mental health disorder, is defined as patterns or changes in thinking, feeling or behaving that cause distress or disrupt a person's ability to function. There is greater awareness of ADHD now than in the past. Thus, abnormalities in this region may go a long way toward explaining the hyperactive, uncontrolled behavior of ADHD. Nevertheless, the findings from these studies raise important questions concerning what appears to be a demonstrable rise in the prevalence of ADHD. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. He seems to accidentally break things; he lost his jacket three times last winter, and he never seems to sit still. It is a devastating condition of unknown cause. Children with ADHD face severe academic and social challenges. Another investigation found that from 1998–2000 through 2007–2009 the parent-reported prevalence of ADHD increased among U.S. children between the ages of 5–17 years old, from 6.9% to 9.0% (Akinbami, Liu, Pastor, & Reuben, 2011). common childhood diseases so that actions can be taken to decrease the spread of the illness or infestation to others. Since the various periods of growth and development differ so markedly from one another, they are divided for convenience into the following stages: intrauterine (the period before birth), neonatal (first four weeks), infant (first year), preschool (one to five years), early school (six to 10 years for girls, six to 12 for boys), prepubescent (10 to 12 for girls, 12 to 14 for boys), and adolescent (12 to 18 for girls, 14 to 20 for boys). Infectious disorders are prevalent and remain a leading cause of death, although individual illnesses are often mild and of minor consequence. Additionally, as was the case with diet and ADHD in the 1970s, the notion that autism spectrum disorder is caused by vaccinations is appealing to some because it provides a simple explanation for this condition. In a shocking turn of events, some years later the article was retracted by the journal that had published it after accusations of fraud on the part of the lead researcher. Figure 2. In order to qualify for a diagnosis of conduct disorder, children must exhibit at least three of these symptoms in the past year and at least one in the past six months: Diego is always active, from the time he wakes up in the morning until the time he goes to bed at night. To conclude that vaccines cause autism spectrum disorder on this basis, as many did, is clearly incorrect for a number of reasons, not the least of which is because correlation does not imply causation, as you’ve learned. The results of this study, a portion of which are shown in Figure 2, clearly demonstrate that the quantity of immunogens from vaccines received during the first two years of life were not at all related to the development of autism spectrum disorder. In addition, mental health professionals are now more knowledgeable about autism spectrum disorder and are better equipped to make the diagnosis, even in subtle cases (Novella, 2008). Although it is difficult to interpret this increase, it is possible that the rise in prevalence is the result of the broadening of the diagnosis, increased efforts to identify cases in the community, and greater awareness and acceptance of the diagnosis. It is an extremely rare condition in which children develop normally up to an age of two and then suffer a severe loss of social, behavioral and communication skills. Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD), or Heller's syndrome, is a rare pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) which involves regression of developmental ability in language, social function and motor skills. Numerous studies, however, have shown a significant relationship between exposure to nicotine in cigarette smoke during the prenatal period and ADHD (Linnet et al., 2003). ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder in children. These conditions are listed in the DSM-5 as neurodevelopmental disorders, and they involve developmental problems in personal, social, academic, and intellectual functioning (APA, 2013). In the developed countries, where the most common causes of childhood morbidity and mortality are accidents, prevention depends upon a willingness to design and modify communities and homes to make them safer for children. Psychiatry. How about medical conditions? Childhood bipolar disorder differs from adult bipolar disorder because the periods of mania and depression typically come and go at much faster intervals. The exact causes of autism spectrum disorder remain unknown despite massive research efforts over the last two decades (Meek, Lemery-Chalfant, Jahromi, & Valiente, 2013). Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. CDD is considered a low-functioning form of autistic spec… The qualifier “spectrum” in autism spectrum disorder is used to indicate that individuals with the disorder can show a range, or spectrum, of symptoms that vary in their magnitude and severity: some severe, others less severe. Autism spectrum disorder is referred to in everyday language as autism; in fact, the disorder was termed “autistic disorder” in earlier editions of the DSM, and its diagnostic criteria were much narrower than those of autism spectrum disorder. http://cnx.org/contents/Sr8Ev5Og@5.52:uASZ6djG@5/Disorders-in-Childhood, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Autism_boy_help.jpg, Describe the symptoms, prevalence, and contributing factors of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Describe the symptoms and prevalence of autism spectrum disorder, as well as the contributing factors that cause the disorder. Thus, what might seem like inattention to some parents and teachers could simply reflect exposure to too much technology. had worse educational attainment (more likely to have dropped out of high school and less likely to have earned a bachelor’s degree); held less prestigious occupational positions; scored worse on a measure of occupational functioning (indicating, for example, lower job satisfaction, poorer work relationships, and more firings); scored worse on a measure of social functioning (indicating, for example, fewer friendships and less involvement in social activities); were more likely to have non-alcohol-related substance abuse problems. Additionally, although food additives have been shown to increase hyperactivity in non-ADHD children, the effect is rather small (McCann et al., 2007). It is absolutely possible for a child to overcome it. In some instances both mania and depression can occur simultaneously. 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