At a very tender age, there are many problems that can affect little children. There are so many disabilities that can trouble children’s lives and in so many cases they are not even identified as they are simply looked at as bad behaviour. Here is a list of ten common disabilities among children, and their implications on a child’s body and mind.
Epilepsy is a seizure disorder that can affect people belonging to any age groups however there are kinds of epilepsy that are known to affect people only in their childhood. It has been established that approximately seventy percent of children who suffer from epilepsy grow out of it at the end of their childhood. The causes for epilepsy among children are largely unknown. Epilepsy during childhood can affect the child’s education and may even cause for bullying from peers who fail to understand the ordeal of the child. Epileptic attacks can occur anywhere, which means that the teachers and parents must always keep a vigil eye. However, epileptic attacks can be controlled and treated with anticonvulsant medications.
9. Fetal alcohol syndrome
As the name suggests, this syndrome is a result of consumption large amounts of alcohol during the period of pregnancy. The consumption of alcohol by the mother can cause severe damage to the brain of the foetus because the growth of the child’s brain takes place throughout the pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol syndrome has been identified as the leading cause of mental retardation among children. Research has taken place recognizing the adverse effects of alcohol on the health of the foetus and it has allowed major scientific bodies such as British Department of Health state that alcohol must be strictly avoided during pregnancy keeping in mind the damage that it can cause to foetus which can lead the child to suffer throughout its life. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can cause severe damage to a child’s nervous system, physical features, functional systems etc. There is no treatment available for the disorder as the damage to the central nervous system is almost irrevocable. The only way to avoid damage to the foetus is simple; avoid large amounts of alcohol during pregnancy.
8. Attention Deficit Disorder/ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
The name of the disorder makes it amply clear what it entails. Children who have ADD essentially are easily distractible, procrastinate a lot, are lethargic and have trouble paying constant attention. They are forgetful; they make a lot of what one would normally call ‘silly mistakes’. Current estimations indicate that up to five percent of the world’s population suffers from ADD. The problem with ADD recognition that often children suffering from it are perceived to be rebellious and callous. The environment that surrounds them tends to judge them and sometimes attempts to rectify their behaviour with negative reinforcement. The child then tends to have a shallow image of him, lowering its own self esteem. These children are different from the others, because it is not deliberately that they display the behaviour that they do. Different surroundings have different impact on children and children coming from certain environments are more prone to have ADD than others. ADD can be treated with the right kind of medication. The medication may include certain anti-depressants that can be used also to treat restlessness and hyperactivity. The long term effect of the medication however is yet to be assessed, and there is being research conducted into the field to determine other methods of addressing and treating the issue. Behavioural therapy has known to help children suffering from ADD.
Dyslexia is a disorder that inhibits the process of learning to read with fluency and lucidity. Dyslexia is believed to affect between 5 to 10 percent of the world’s population, although there is a lack of conclusive evidence in this regard. Dyslexia as a disorder basically makes it difficult for a child to read and find way through Math problems. An easy way to understand dyslexia would be to think of as the letters on a piece of paper to be dancing, thereby making it highly difficult for the child to make sense of what lies before him. Dyslexia can be treated easily with patience and early identification. Children suffering from dyslexia, if not helped can turn rebellious and may experience high level of stress and frustration because they begin to sense that they are different in a way they cannot be proud of. It is highly necessary for parents to help the child overcome the disorder and schools must accept them with open arms instead of reprimanding them or shunning them away. All a dyslexic child needs is someone who can understand his problem and take him through the learning process one step at a time. Innovative methods of teaching the alphabet, addition and subtraction must be employed in order to give the child the exact help it needs. Albert Einstein, Steven Spielberg, Cher, Tom Cruise, Keira Knightely, Abhishek Bachan, Agatha Christie, Anderson Cooper, John Lennon all exceptional names in their respective fields were all diagnosed with dyslexia, and yet, nothing stopped them from reaching out for success.
6. Autism Spectrum Disorders
Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism are today increasingly clubbed together under the umbrella name of Autism Spectrum Disorders. A child suffering from Asperger’s syndrome or Autism has trouble in making effective verbal or non-verbal communication. The problem is that the child finds it difficult to socialize efficiently and their behaviour may be a little difficult to decipher and in some cases there may also be a delay in the cognitive functions of the child. The causes of Autism Spectrum Disorders are yet to be actually identified but studies indicate that these disorders could be caused by genetic disorders, prenatal mishaps or even due to certain environmental conditions. The disorders that are classified under ADS are: Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Rett’s syndrome, Childhood disintegrative disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Specified Otherwise (PDS-NOS). Autism needs to be identified and effective diagnosis becomes difficult in many cases. Children with Autism need to be monitored closely and helped through school by someone who is there at all times to have one-on-one sessions with the child. The chances of an Autistic child to be misunderstood by peers are high, causing them to submerge into self-doubt and possibly, aversion to socialization. Children who suffer from Autism Spectrum Disorders need warmth, love, and affection and care to help them get on with life smoothly. What needs to be understood is that the child’s needs are individualistic and unique in nature and they just have to be dealt with that way.
5. Central Auditory Processing Disorder
Central Auditory Processing Disorder is a broad term under which the disorders relating to the easy processing of auditory information. The disorders have only been newly observed to be quite widespread in nature and researchers are trying to identify the implications and the causes of such impairment. The basic problem in such cases is that the child finds itself unable to process auditory information that it is receiving at the same speed that it is being sent. So you see that the problem lies in this lapse, due to which the child has a hard time keeping up. If left unrecognized, the child will only turn to hate the process and start to break down. The solution to such a problem is having a personal aide who will be able to send out the information at the same pace that the child is able to process and understand it without it all becoming a confusing mish mash in the child’s head. A confused child is naturally prone to be more hostile and it will try to fight the hardships. As with most learning disabilities, a child with CAPD also has individualistic needs which have to be addressed with the help of innovative teaching techniques and interactions with professionals.
Aphasia is a language disorder and is often confused with Autism and other learning disabilities. A child suffering from Aphasia essentially faces trouble with either receiving information or forming speech, making the child’s communicative skills ineffective. Aphasia is caused by injury to the head and it his highly capable of causing severe damage to a child’s literacy skills. Aphasic children may find it difficult to pronounce words because of their problems with receiving language. The children who suffer from Aphasia need to have professional help at all times, and they need to be taken through education at a pace that they are comfortable with. Teachers and parents need to try as hard as they possibly can to not put the child in a state of alarm as more stress can sometimes cause the child to snap. Aphasia, in some cases, can also adversely affect the writing skills too. Aphasia is caused when certain segments of the brain are under duress due to accidents or trauma. Speech pathologists will be able to help the child improve greatly with their speaking and neuropsychologists will be able to help with treatment of Aphasia.
3. Emotional and Behavioural Disorders
Changing environmental elements, pressure, stress and turbulence in surroundings can push children into being emotionally and behaviourally troubled. Emotional and Behavioural Disorders (EBD) is a category of disorders that essentially target and trouble a child’s socializing skills and emotional balance. The United States Federal identified the distinctive characteristics of a child having EBD as (i)one whose difficulty to learn cannot be explained by a intellectual, sensory or a health problem (ii) one who finds it difficult to build and maintain interpersonal relations with peers and teachers (iii) Displaying inappropriate types of behaviour or feelings (such as hurting oneself or others) under normal circumstances (iv) a general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression and (v) showing a tendency to develop physical symptoms of fear towards personal or school programs. The disorder shows itself remarkably among children and adolescents and there are a plethora of causes that can lead to the development of this disorder. It can be helped with medication and professional help; with active co-operation from teachers, parents and peers to help the child to channel it’s frustration in healthy mannerisms.
2. Celebral Palsy
Celebral Palsy is a disorder that is today known to affect half a million people in the United States of America. This disorder is characterized by motor conditions that hamper development of the child as well as its movement to an extent. It’s a long term physical conditions caused by lesions in the brain and it poses a problem in movement of muscles and exercising of motor control. There are different problems faced by different children who are diagnosed with CP. Some of the children suffer involuntary spasms, visual impairment and even paralysis, leaving many children bound by the wheelchair. The causes of Celebral Palsy are several; however the chief causes are physical trauma experienced by the mother causing injury to the foetus or a mishap during delivery. Infections that are contracted can also cause Celebral Palsy later in life. In many cases, a severe head injury causing trauma to the brain is also known to have been the cause of a patient being diagnosed with Celebral Palsy.
1. Down Syndrome
Down Syndrome, or otherwise referred to as trisomy 21 is a disorder that is caused by the partial or complete presence of a third copy of the chromosome 21. It is one of the most common genetic disorders and affects people from the time of their birth. A person suffering from Down Syndrome displays delays in physical growth, cognitive growth and is also associated with mental retardation. A child suffering from Down Syndrome is born with a particular set of features that are distinctive and unique to those who have this genetic defect. A child suffering from Down Syndrome has a typically low IQ as compared to others of his/her age that do not have the same defect. Children suffering from Down Syndrome grow up to suffer from several other complications. However, despite all of that, it is not true that children suffering from Down Syndrome cannot lead normal lives. With ample love and support from their family as well as professionals, they too can find their own and discover what they are good at. Their needs are individualistic and unique, however they are not impossible to fulfil. Paula Sage, an actress who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome won a BAFTA for her acting performance, proving to the world contrary to what is usually believed about the syndrome.