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Developmental Disorders

Developmental Disorders are those conditions that exist from a very early age, and often before birth. They can be caused by abnormalities before, during, and after birth, and are often first appreciated in childhood. Examples include learning disabilities, mental retardation, and autism spectrum disorders, but can also include a variety of less common presenting conditions. They can be caused by immune disorders, infectious disease, and genetic abnormalities. Consequences from these disorders often involve behavioral, social, psychiatric and cognitive areas. While behavior and social problems tend to be noticed more readily, it is often the cognitive consequences that have the most profound and long-lasting influence on development. Learning problems, problems with memory, poor attention and/or executive functioning, including the ability to plan ahead and problem solve, are seen with careful investigation. Approaches to treatment often depend upon a comprehensive evaluation resulting in accurate diagnosis and appreciation of functional and cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Treatment typically involves a multi-level approach, and should be based upon accepted research-guided practices in the field.

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