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Developmental Disorders

Common developmental problems include:

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder generally have deficits in two major aspects: (1) social communication and social interaction; and (2) restricted interests, repetitive patterns of behaviour or activities.  
Children with Classic Autism (onset before age 3) generally have the following problems:
  • Difficulty in social interaction: failure to notice the presence of other, understand others’ needs and feelings, and develop peer relationships; lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interest or achievements with others; lack of social reciprocity
  • Difficulty in communication: lack of body language, weak in verbal comprehension and expression, with echolalic speech
  • Highly restricted, fixated interest, inflexible adherence to routines or resistance to changes; rigid or ritualized patterns of behaviours
  • Weak in identifying essential details, seeing relationships and generalizing the skills
  • Weak concentration and self-control, easy to lose temper, self-stimulating or self-harming behaviours
  • Weak self-care and social adaptation ability
Children with High-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder generally have the following problems:
  • Difficulty in social interaction; insensitivity in interpersonal relationship; weak in understanding the perspective of others and their feelings; pursuing a conversational topic regardless of others’ reactions; preferring solitary activities or lacking of adequate social skills
  • Rigid behaviours, resistance to change and reluctance to accept new things; inflexible adherence to rules
  • Stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest,
  • Difficulty in communication, failure to express themselves effectively
  • Weak motor-coordination
  • Weak attention
  • Weak organisation skill, inflexibility in thinking; difficulty to predict consequence

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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder generally have the following problems:
  • Inattentiveness, easily distracted and hard to follow through on instructions; often forget and lose belongings
  • Impulsivity: have difficulty in taking turns; often interrupt others’ speech
  • Hyperactivity: fail to seat quietly, often fidget and talk excessively
  • Weak planning and organisation ability
  • Easily to have social or behavioural problems
  • Low self-image and self-esteem

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Physical Disability

Children with physical disability generally have the following problems:
  • If caused by damages to muscular and nervous systems, may have primitive reflexes arising from hyper-tonic muscles and hypo-tonic muscles; abnormal motor pattern associated with the delay in gross motor and fine motor development; sensory disturbance and developmental coordination disorders.
  • If caused by congenital abnormities, may have physical deformities or paralysis of limb
  • If caused by genetic diseases, may have muscular dystrophy and more severe functional disorders
  • Self-care and social adaptation problems
  • Lack of self-confidence and tend to be passive

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Language Delay

Children with language delay generally have the following problems:
  • Speech is not clear or comprehensible
  • Have limited vocabulary and fail to express themselves clearly
  • Failure to understand abstract expressions, complex sentence structures, unfamiliar concepts, etc.
  • Speech content is out of the context and improper use of words
  • Simple or uncommon sentence structures: mix, omit or distort phrases in sentences

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Global Developmental Delay

Children with global developmental delay generally have the following problems:
  • Lag behind peers of the same age in terms of development or quality in many areas, e.g. slower development in gross and fine motor, hypo-tonic muscles, language delay, weaker sensory reception and recognition ability.
  • Weaker ability to learn and understand abstract concepts or reason logically
  • Weaker concentration and memory
  • Weaker self-care skills, e.g. feeding, dressing and washing themselves
  • Weaker self-care ability and easily lose control of their temper

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Specific Learning Difficulties in Reading and Writing

Children with specific learning difficulties in reading and writing generally have the following problems:
  • Difficulty in word decoding: word recognition, spelling, pronunciation and article comprehension
  • Weakness in organisation of spoken sentences, and comprehension of complex sentences and instructions
  • Difficulty in gross and fine motor coordination, weaker ability in the control of strength, slow in writing and illegible hand-writing
  • Weakness in visual space recognition, frequent errors in writing or missing strokes, components of characters are out of proportion, uneven distance between words
  • Weaker concentration and memory
  • Lack of self-confidence and exhibition of behavioural problems

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Emotional & Behavioural Problems

Below are the emotional and behavioural problems children may encounter:
  • Often lose control of their temper and in tears; exhibition of damaging or offensive behaviours
  • Excessive anxiety or fear
  • Have nightmares or sleeping disturbance
  • Social difficulty, fear of and resistance to interacting with strangers
  • Recurring somatic complaints, such as headaches, stomach aches, vomiting, which are not fully explained by a known general medical condition
  • Regressive behaviours, e.g. enuresis
  • Repetitive and persistent oppositional or hostile behaviours, e.g. often arguing with adults, refusing to follow instructions, blaming others for his mistakes

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For further information, please go to http://childrehab.heephong.org/