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WHAT IS DOWN SYNDROME?

Down syndrome is a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome. Chromosomes are small “packages” of genes in the body. They determine how a baby’s body forms during pregnancy and how the baby’s body functions as it grows in the womb and after birth. Typically, a baby is born with 46 chromosomes. Babies with Down syndrome have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes, chromosome 21. A medical term for having an extra copy of a chromosome is ‘trisomy.’ Down syndrome is also referred to as Trisomy 21. This extra copy changes how the baby’s body and brain develop, which can cause both mental and physical challenges for the baby.

Even though people with Down syndrome might act and look similar, each person has different abilities. People with Down syndrome usually have an IQ (a measure of intelligence) in the mildly-to-moderately low range and are slower to speak than other children.

Some common physical features of Down syndrome include:

  • A flattened face, especially the bridge of the nose
  • Almond-shaped eyes that slant up
  • A short neck
  • Small ears
  • A tongue that tends to stick out of the mouth
  • Tiny white spots on the iris (colored part) of the eye
  • Small hands and feet
  • A single line across the palm of the hand (palmar crease)
  • Small pinky fingers that sometimes curve toward the thumb
  • Poor muscle tone or loose joints
  • Shorter in height as children and adults

How Many Babies are Born with Down Syndrome?

Down syndrome remains the most common chromosomal condition diagnosed in the United States. Each year, about 6,000 babies born in the United States have Down syndrome. This means that Down syndrome occurs in about 1 in every 700 babies.

DOWN SYNDROME DIAGNOSIS

There are two basic types of tests available to detect Down syndrome during pregnancy: screening tests and diagnostic tests. A screening test can tell a woman and her healthcare provider whether her pregnancy has a lower or higher chance of having Down syndrome. Screening tests do not provide an absolute diagnosis, but they are safer for the mother and the developing baby. Diagnostic tests can typically detect whether or not a baby will have Down syndrome, but they can be more risky for the mother and developing baby. Neither screening nor diagnostic tests can predict the full impact of Down syndrome on a baby; no one can predict this.

Screening Tests

Screening tests often include a combination of a blood test, which measures the amount of various substances in the mother’s blood (e.g., MS-AFP, Triple Screen, Quad-screen), and an ultrasound, which creates a picture of the baby. During an ultrasound, one of the things the technician looks at is the fluid behind the baby’s neck. Extra fluid in this region could indicate a genetic problem. These screening tests can help determine the baby’s risk of Down syndrome. Rarely, screening tests can give an abnormal result even when there is nothing wrong with the baby. Sometimes, the test results are normal and yet they miss a problem that does exist.

Diagnostic Tests

Diagnostic tests are usually performed after a positive screening test in order to confirm a Down syndrome diagnosis. Types of diagnostic tests include:

  • Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)—examines material from the placenta
  • Amniocentesis—examines the amniotic fluid (the fluid from the sac surrounding the baby)
  • Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling (PUBS)—examines blood from the umbilical cord

These tests look for changes in the chromosomes that would indicate a Down syndrome diagnosis.

Down syndrome is a lifelong condition. Services early in life will often help babies and children with Down syndrome to improve their physical and intellectual abilities. Most of these services focus on helping children with Down syndrome develop to their full potential. EACH PERSON WITH DOWN SYNDROME HAS DIFFERENT TALENTS AND THE ABILITY TO THRIVE.

¡To help your child reach his or her full potential, getting help as soon as possible is of the utmost importance!

List of no medical services you can look for your child: 

Home Care Speech Therapy

Occupational Therapy Equine Therapy Physical Therapy

Art Therapy Music Therapy

Behavior Therapy (Some depends upon other diagnosis associated with developmental disabilities or behavioral)

WHAT IS ADHD? 

Attention-Deficit   /   Hyperactivity   Disorder   (ADHD)   is   one   of   the   most   common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.

It is normal for children to have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. However, children with ADHD do not just grow out of these behaviors. The symptoms continue, can be severe, and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends.

A child with ADHD might:

  • daydream a lot
  • forget or lose things a lot
  • squirm or fidget
  • talk too much
  • make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks
  • have a hard time resisting temptation
  • have trouble taking turns
  • have difficulty getting along with others

There are three different types of ADHD, depending on which types of symptoms are strongest in the individual:

  • Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: It is hard for the individual to organize or finish a task, to pay attention to details, or to follow instructions or The person is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines.

 

  • Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: The person fidgets and talks a lot. It is hard to sit still for long (e.g., for a meal or while doing homework). Smaller children may run, jump or climb constantly. The individual feels restless and has trouble with Someone who is impulsive may interrupt others a lot, grab things from people, or speak at inappropriate times. It is hard for the person to wait their turn or listen to directions. A person with impulsiveness may have more accidents and injuries than others.

 

  • Combined Presentation: Symptoms of the above two types are equally present in the

Because symptoms can change over time, the presentation may change over time as well.

DIAGNOSIS ADHD

Deciding if a child has ADHD is a process with several steps. There is no single test to diagnose ADHD, and many other problems, like anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and certain types of learning disabilities, can have similar symptoms. One step of the process involves having a medical exam, including hearing and vision tests, to rule out other problems with symptoms like ADHD. Diagnosing ADHD usually includes a checklist for rating ADHD symptoms and taking a history of the child from parents, teachers, and sometimes, the child.

If you are concerned about whether a child might have ADHD, the first step is to talk with a healthcare provider to find out if the symptoms fit the diagnosis. The diagnosis can be made by a mental health professional, like a psychologist or psychiatrist, or by a primary care provider, like a pediatrician.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that healthcare providers ask parents, teachers, and other adults who care for the child about the child’s behavior in different settings, like at home, school, or with peers.

The healthcare provider should also determine whether the child has another condition that can either explain the symptoms better, or that occurs at the same time as ADHD.

¡To help your child reach his or her full potential, getting help as soon as possible is of the utmost importance!

List of no medical services you can look for your child:

 Home Care Speech Therapy

Occupational Therapy Equine Therapy Physical Therapy

Art Therapy Music Therapy Behavior Therapy Early Intervention

 

WHAT IS SPINA BIFIDA?

Spina bifida is a condition that affects the spine and is usually apparent at birth. It is a type of neural tube defect (NTD).

Spina bifida can happen anywhere along the spine if the neural tube does not close all the way. When the neural tube does not close all the way, the backbone that protects the spinal cord does not form and close as it should. This often results in damage to the spinal cord and nerves.

Spina bifida might cause physical and intellectual disabilities that range from mild to severe. The severity depends on:

  • The size and location of the opening in the
  • Whether part of the spinal cord and nerves are

TYPES OF SPINA BIFIDA

The three most common types of spina bifida are:

Myelomeningocele When people talk about spina bifida, most often they are referring to myelomeningocele. Myelomeningocele is the most serious type of spina bifida. With this condition, a sac of fluid comes through an opening in the baby’s back. Part of the spinal cord and nerves are in this sac and are damaged. This type of spina bifida causes moderate to severe disabilities, such as problems affecting how the person goes to the bathroom, loss of feeling in the person’s legs or feet, and not being able to move the legs.

Meningocele Another type of spina bifida is meningocele. With meningocele a sac of fluid comes through an opening in the baby’s back. But, the spinal cord is not in this sac. There is usually little or no nerve damage. This type of spina bifida can cause minor disabilities.

Spina Bifida Occulta Spina bifida occulta is the mildest type of spina bifida. It is sometimes called “hidden” spina bifida. With it, there is a small gap in the spine, but no opening or sac on the back. The spinal cord and the nerves usually are normal. Many

times, spina bifida occulta is not discovered until late childhood or adulthood. This type of spina bifida usually does not cause any disabilities.

DIAGNOSIS

Spina bifida can be diagnosed during pregnancy or after the baby is born. Spina bifida occulta might not be diagnosed until late childhood or adulthood, or might never be diagnosed.

During Pregnancy

During pregnancy there are screening tests (prenatal tests) to check for spina bifida and other birth defects. Talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns you have about this prenatal testing.

  • AFP – AFP stands for alpha-fetoprotein a protein the unborn baby produces. This is a simple blood test that measures how much AFP has passed into the mother’s bloodstream from the baby. A high level of AFP might mean that the baby has spina An AFP test might be part of a test called the “triple screen” that looks for neural tube defects and other issues.
  • Ultrasound – An ultrasound is a type of picture of the baby. In some cases, the doctor can see if the baby has spina bifida or find other reasons that there might be a high level of AFP. Frequently, spina bifida can be seen with this
  • Amniocentesis – For this test, the doctor takes a small sample of the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby in the womb. Higher than average levels of AFP in the fluid might mean that the baby has spina

After the Baby Is Born

In some cases, spina bifida might not be diagnosed until after the baby is born.

Sometimes there is a hairy patch of skin or a dimple on the baby’s back that is first seen after the baby is born. A doctor can use an image scan, such as an, X-ray, MRI, or CT, to get a clearer view of the baby’s spine and the bones in the back.

Sometimes spina bifida is not diagnosed until after the baby is born because the mother did not receive prenatal care or an ultrasound did not show clear pictures of the affected part of the spine.

Spina bifida can range from mild to severe. Some people may have little to no disability. Other people may be limited in the way they move or function. Some people may even be paralyzed or unable to walk or move parts of their body.

Even so, with the right care, most people affected by spina bifida lead full, productive lives.

¡To help your child reach his or her full potential, getting help as soon as possible is of the utmost importance!

List of no medical services you can look for your child: 

Home Care

Occupational Therapy (Some Cases) Physical Therapy (Some Cases)

Art Therapy Music Therapy

Behavior Therapy (Some Cases)

WHAT IS AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less.

A diagnosis of ASD now includes several conditions that used to be diagnosed separately: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger syndrome. These conditions are now all called autism spectrum disorder.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

People with ASD often have problems with social, emotional, and communication skills. They might repeat certain behaviors and might not want change in their daily activities. Many people with ASD also have different ways of learning, paying attention, or reacting to things. Signs of ASD begin during early childhood and typically last throughout a person’s life.

Children or adults with ASD might:

  • not point at objects to show interest (for example, not point at an airplane flying over)
  • not look at objects when another person points at them
  • have trouble relating to others or not have an interest in other people at all
  • avoid eye contact and want to be alone
  • have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
  • prefer not to be held or cuddled, or might cuddle only when they want to
  • appear to be unaware when people talk to them, but respond to other sounds
  • be very interested in people, but not know how to talk, play, or relate to them
  • repeat or echo words or phrases said to them, or repeat words or phrases in place of normal language
  • have trouble expressing their needs using typical words or motions
  • not play “pretend” games (for example, not pretend to “feed” a doll)
  • repeat actions over and over again
  • have trouble adapting when a routine changes
  • have unusual reactions to the way things smell, taste, look, feel, or sound
  • lose skills they once had (for example, stop saying words they were using)

Screening and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be difficult because there is no medical test, like a blood test, to diagnose the disorder. Doctors look at the child’s developmental history and behavior to make a diagnosis.

ASD can sometimes be detected at 18 months or younger. By age 2, a diagnosis by an experienced professional can be considered very reliable. However, many children do not receive a final diagnosis until much older. Some people are not diagnosed until they are adolescents or adults. This delay means that children with ASD might not get the early help they need.

Early signs of ASD can include, but are not limited to: 

  • Avoiding eye contact,
  • Having little interest in other children or caretakers,
  • Limited display of language (for example, having fewer words than peers or difficulty with use of words for communication), or
  • Getting upset by minor changes in

As children with ASD become adolescents and young adults, they might have difficulties developing and maintaining friendships, communicating with peers and adults, or understanding what behaviors are expected in school or on the job. They may also come to the attention of healthcare providers because they have co-occurring conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety or depression, or conduct disorder.

Monitoring, screening, evaluating, and diagnosing children with ASD as early as possible is important to make sure children receive the services and supports, they need to reach their full potential. There are several steps in this process.

Developmental Monitoring

Developmental monitoring observes how your child grows and changes over time and whether your child meets the typical developmental milestones in playing, learning, speaking, behaving, and moving. Parents, grandparents, early childhood providers, and other caregivers can participate in developmental monitoring. If you notice that your child is not meeting milestones, talk with your doctor or nurse about your concerns. Check

 CDC’s Developmental Milestones. PDF

When you take your child to a well visit, your doctor or nurse will also do developmental monitoring. The doctor or nurse might ask you questions about your child’s development or will talk and play with your child to see if he or she is developing and meeting milestones. A missed milestone could be a sign of a problem, so the doctor or another specialist will take a closer look by using a more thorough test or exam.

Developmental Screening

Developmental screening takes a closer look at how your child is developing. Your child will get a brief test, or you will complete a questionnaire about your child. The tools used for developmental and behavioral screening are formal questionnaires or checklists based on research that ask questions about a child’s development, including language, movement, thinking, behavior, and emotions. Developmental screening can be done by a doctor or nurse, but also by other professionals in healthcare, community, or school settings.

Developmental screening is more formal than developmental monitoring and normally done less often than developmental monitoring. Your child should be screened if you or your doctor have a concern. However, developmental screening is a regular part of some of the well-child visits for all children even if there is not a known concern.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends developmental and behavioral screening for all children during regular well-child visits at these ages:

  • 9 months
  • 18 months
  • 30 months

In addition, AAP recommends that all children be screened specifically for ASD during regular well-child doctor visits at:

  • 18 months
  • 24 months
  • Additional screening might be needed if a child is at high risk for ASD (e.g., having a sister, brother or other family member with an ASD) or if behaviors sometimes associated with ASD are

If your child is at higher risk for developmental problems due to , low birthweight, environmental risks like, or other factors, your healthcare provider may also discuss additional screening. If a child has an existing long-lasting health problem or a diagnosed condition, the child should have developmental monitoring and screening in all areas of development, just like those without special healthcare needs.

If your child’s healthcare provider does not periodically check your child with a developmental screening test, you can ask that it be done.

Comprehensive Developmental Evaluation

A brief test using a screening tool does not provide a diagnosis, but it indicates if a child is on the right development track or if a specialist should take a closer look. If the screening tool identifies an area of concern, a formal developmental evaluation may be needed. This formal evaluation is a more in-depth look at a child’s development, usually done by a trained specialist, such as a developmental pediatrician, child psychologist, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, or other specialist. The results of this formal evaluation determines whether a child needs special treatments or early intervention services or both.

¡To help your child reach his or her full potential, getting help as soon as possible is of the utmost importance!

List of no medical services you can look for your child:

 Home Care Speech Therapy

Occupational Therapy Equine Therapy Physical Therapy

Art Therapy Music Therapy Behavior Therapy Early Intervention

 

WHAT IS CEREBRAL PALSY? 

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. CP is  the  most  common  motor  disability  in  childhood. Cerebral means having to do with the brain. Palsy means weakness or problems with using the muscles. CP is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain that affects a person’s ability to control his or her muscles.

The symptoms of CP vary from person to person. A person with severe CP might need to use special equipment to be able to walk or might not be able to walk at all and might need lifelong care. A person with mild CP, on the other hand, might walk a little awkwardly, but might not need any special help. CP does not get worse over time, though the exact symptoms can change over a person’s lifetime.

All people with CP have problems with movement and posture. Many also have related conditions such as intellectual disability seizures problems with, or speech;  changes   in   the   spine   (such   as scoliosis);   or   joint   problems   (such   as contractures).

TYPES OF CEREBRAL PALSY

Doctors classify CP according to the main type of movement disorder involved. Depending on which areas of the brain are affected, one or more of the following movement disorders can occur:

  • Stiff muscles (spasticity)
  • Uncontrollable movements (dyskinesia)
  • Poor balance and coordination (ataxia) There are four main types of CP:

Spastic Cerebral Palsy 

The most common type of CP is spastic CP. Spastic CP affects about 80% of people with CP.

People with spastic CP have increased muscle tone. This means their muscles are stiff and, as a result, their movements can be awkward. Spastic CP usually is described by what parts of the body are affected:

  • Spastic diplegia/diparesis―In this type of CP, muscle stiffness is mainly in the legs, with the arms less affected or not affected at People with spastic diplegia might have difficulty walking because tight hip and leg muscles cause their legs to pull together, turn inward, and cross at the knees (also known as scissoring).
  • Spastic hemiplegia/hemiparesis―This type of CP affects only one side of a person’s body; usually the arm is more affected than the
  • Spastic quadriplegia/quadriparesis―Spastic quadriplegia is the most severe form of spastic CP and affects all four limbs, the trunk, and the face. People with spastic quadriparesis usually cannot walk and often have other developmental disabilities such as intellectual disability; seizures; or problems with vision, hearing, or

Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy (also includes athetoid, choreoathetoid, and dystonic cerebral palsies)

People with dyskinetic CP have problems controlling the movement of their hands, arms, feet, and legs, making it difficult to sit and walk. The movements are uncontrollable and

can be slow and writhing or rapid and jerky. Sometimes the face and tongue are affected and the person has a hard time sucking, swallowing, and talking. A person with dyskinetic CP has muscle tone that can change (varying from too tight to too loose) not only from day to day, but even during a single day.

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

People with ataxic CP have problems with balance and coordination. They might be unsteady when they walk. They might have a hard time with quick movements or movements that need a lot of control, like writing. They might have a hard time controlling their hands or arms when they reach for something.

Mixed Cerebral Palsy 

Some people have symptoms of more than one type of CP. The most common type of mixed CP is spastic-dyskinetic CP.

EARLY SIGNS

The signs of CP vary greatly because there are many different types and levels of disability. The main sign that a child might have CP is a delay reaching motor or movement milestones (such as rolling over, sitting, standing, or walking). Following are some other signs of possible CP. It is important to note that some children without CP also might have some of these signs.

In a Baby Younger Than 6 Months of Age

  • His head lags when you pick him up while he’s lying on his back
  • He feels stiff
  • He feels floppy
  • When held cradled in your arms, he seems to overextend his back and neck, constantly acting as if he is pushing away from you
  • When you pick him up, his legs get stiff and they cross or scissor

In a Baby Older Than 6 Months of Age 

  • She doesn’t roll over in either direction
  • She cannot bring her hands together
  • She has difficulty bringing her hands to her mouth
  • She reaches out with only one hand while keeping the other fisted

In a Baby Older Than 10 Months of Age 

  • He crawls in a lopsided manner, pushing off with one hand and leg while dragging the opposite hand and leg
  • He scoots around on his buttocks or hops on his knees, but does not crawl on all fours

Tell your child’s doctor or nurse if you notice any of these signs.

SCREENING AND DIAGNOSIS OF CEREBRAL PALSY

Diagnosing cerebral palsy (CP) at an early age is important to the well-being of children and their families. Diagnosing CP can take several steps:

  • Developmental Monitoring
  • Developmental Screening
  • Developmental and Medical Evaluations

Developmental Monitoring

Developmental monitoring (also called surveillance) means tracking a child’s growth and development over time. At each well-child office visit, the doctor monitors the child’s development. The doctor does this by asking parents if they have any concerns about their child’s development, taking or updating the child’s developmental history, and watching the child during the exam to see how he or she moves.

It is important for doctors to monitor the development of all children, but especially those who are at a higher risk for developmental problems due to preterm birth or low birthweight.

If any concerns about the child’s development are raised during monitoring, then a developmental screening test should be given as soon as possible.

Developmental Screening

During developmental screening a short test is given to see if the child has specific developmental delays, such as motor or movement delays. Some are in the form of interviews or questionnaires completed by parents, others are tests that the doctor gives to the child. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for developmental delays during regular well- child office visits at:

  • 9 months
  • 18 months
  • 24 or 30 months

When a child is 9 months of age, many issues involving movement can be seen easily. However, mild movement delays that were not found at the 9-month screening might be easier to see when the child is 18 months of age. By the time the child is 30 months of age, most movement delays can be found

A developmental screening test also can be given whenever the child’s parents or doctor or others involved in the care of the child have concerns about the child’s development. If the results of the screening test are cause for concern, then the doctor will make referrals for:

  • Developmental and medical evaluations AND
  • Early intervention or early childhood services

¡To help your child reach his or her full potential, getting help as soon as possible is of the utmost importance!

List of no medical services you can look for your child: 

Home Care

Speech Therapy (Some Cases) Occupational Therapy (Some Cases) Physical Therapy (Some Cases) Music Therapy

Early Intervention

 

WHAT IS MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY?

Muscular dystrophies are a group of muscle diseases caused by mutations in a person’s genes. Over time, muscle weakness decreases mobility, making everyday tasks difficult. There are many kinds of muscular dystrophy, each affecting specific muscle groups, with signs and symptoms appearing at different ages, and varying in severity. Muscular dystrophy can run in families, or a person can be the first in their family to have a muscular dystrophy. There may be several different genetic types within each kind of muscular dystrophy, and people with the same kind of muscular dystrophy may experience different symptoms.

DIAGNOSIS

The first step in diagnosing MD is a visit with a healthcare provider for a physical exam. He or she will ask a series of questions about the person’s family history, including any family members with MD, and medical history, such as muscle problems the person may be experiencing.

Different tests can help healthcare providers diagnose MD and determine which type of MD is present. The tests also may rule out other problems that could cause muscle weakness, such as injury, toxic exposure, medications, or other muscle diseases. These tests may include:

  • Blood tests to measure levels of certain substances that may be high in someone with Elevated levels of these substances can signal muscle weakness, injury, and disease and point to a need for additional testing. Some of these may include:
  • Serum creatine kinase, an enzyme released into the bloodstream when muscle fibers are damaged
  • Serum aldolase, an enzyme that helps break down sugars into energy
  • Myoglobin, a protein that carries and stores oxygen in muscles
  • Muscle biopsies, which involve the removal of a small piece of muscle tissue using a needle or small Providers examine the tissue under a microscope to check for hallmarks of MD. Patients diagnosed by muscle biopsy usually need genetic testing as well to confirm mutations in their genes.
  • Genetic testing to look for genes known either to cause or be associated with inherited muscle disease. DNA analysis and enzyme assays can confirm the diagnosis of certain neuromuscular diseases, including
  • Neurological tests to rule out other nervous system disorders, identify patterns of muscle weakness and wasting, test reflexes and coordination, and detect contractions.
  • Heart testing, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), to measure the rate and frequency of heartbeats, or echocardiogram (Echo), to measure the force of heartbeats and look at the structure of the heart. Some forms of MD cause heart problems such as an irregular
  • Exercise assessments to measure the patient’s muscle strength and breathing and detect any increased rates of certain markers following
  • Imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound imaging, which use radio waves/magnetic fields and sound waves, respectively, to take pictures of the inside of the body, examine muscle quality and bulk, and measure fatty replacement of muscle

¡To help your child reach his or her full potential, getting help as soon as possible is of the utmost importance!

List of no medical services you can look for your child:

Home Care Speech Therapy

Occupational Therapy Physical Therapy

Art Therapy Music Therapy

Behavior Therapy (Some Cases)

WHAT IS INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY? 

Intellectual disability is a term used when there are limits to a person’s ability to learn at an expected level and function in daily life. Levels of intellectual disability vary greatly in children. Children with intellectual disability might have a hard time letting others know their wants and needs, and taking care of themselves. Intellectual disability could cause a child to learn and develop more slowly than other children of the same age. It could take longer for a child with intellectual disability to learn to speak, walk, dress, or eat without help, and they could have trouble learning in school.

Intellectual disability can be caused by a problem that starts any time before a child turns 18 years old – even before birth. It can be caused by injury, disease, or a problem in the brain. For many children, the cause of their intellectual disability is not known. Some of the most common known causes of intellectual disability – like Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, fragile X syndrome, genetic conditions, birth defects, and infections – happen before birth. Others happen while a baby is being born or soon after birth. Still other causes of intellectual disability do not occur until a child is older; these might include serious head injury, stroke, or certain infections.

What are some of the signs of intellectual disability?

Usually, the more severe the degree of intellectual disability, the earlier the signs can be noticed. However, it might still be hard to tell how young children will be affected later in life.

There are many signs of intellectual disability. For example, children with intellectual disability may:

  • sit up, crawl, or walk later than other children
  • learn to talk later, or have trouble speaking
  • find it hard to remember things
  • have trouble understanding social rules
  • have trouble seeing the results of their actions
  • have trouble solving problems

DIAGNOSIS

Intellectual disability is identified by problems in both intellectual and adaptive functioning.

Intellectual functioning is assessed with an exam by a doctor and through standardized testing. While a specific full-scale IQ test score is no longer required for diagnosis, standardized testing is used as part of diagnosing the condition. A full scale IQ score of around 70 to 75 indicates a significant limitation in intellectual functioning. However, the IQ score must be interpreted in the context of the person’s difficulties in general mental abilities. Moreover, scores on subtests can vary considerably so that the full scale IQ score may not accurately reflect overall intellectual functioning.

Three areas of adaptive functioning are considered: 

  1. Conceptual – language, reading, writing, math, reasoning, knowledge, memory
  2. Social – empathy, social judgment, communication skills, the ability follow rules and the ability to make and keep friendships
  3. Practical – independence in areas such as personal care, job responsibilities, managing money, recreation and organizing school and work tasks

Adaptive functioning is assessed through standardized measures with the individual and interviews with others, such as family members, teachers and caregivers.

Intellectual disability is identified as mild (most people with intellectual disability are in this category), moderate or severe. The symptoms of intellectual disability begin during childhood or adolescence. Delays in language or motor skills may be seen by age two. However, mild levels of intellectual disability may not be identified until school age when a child may have difficulty with academics.

¡To help your child reach his or her full potential, getting help as soon as possible is of the utmost importance!

List of no medical services you can look for your child:

Home Care Speech Therapy

Occupational Therapy Equine Therapy Physical Therapy

Art Therapy Music Therapy Behavior Therapy Early Intervention

Behavior Therapy (Some Cases)

WHAT IS FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDERS (FASDS)

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects can include physical problems and problems with behavior and learning. Often, a person with an FASD has a mix of these problems.

FASDs refer to a collection of diagnoses that represent the range of effects that can happen to a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These conditions can affect each person in different ways, and can range from mild to severe.

A person with an FASD might have: 

  • Low body weight
  • Poor coordination
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Difficulty with attention
  • Poor memory
  • Difficulty in school (especially with math)
  • Learning disabilities
  • Speech and language delays
  • Intellectual disability or low IQ
  • Poor reasoning and judgment skills
  • Sleep and sucking problems as a baby
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones
  • Shorter-than-average height
  • Small head size
  • Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip (this ridge is called the philtrum)

FASD DIAGNOSES 

Different FASD diagnoses are based on particular symptoms and include:

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS): FAS represents the most involved end of the FASD spectrum. People with FAS have central nervous system (CNS) problems, minor facial features, and growth problems. People with FAS can have problems with learning, memory, attention span, communication, vision, or hearing. They might have a mix of these problems. People with FAS often have a hard time in school and trouble getting along with
  • Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND): People with ARND might have intellectual disabilities and problems with behavior and learning. They might do poorly in school and have difficulties with math, memory, attention, judgment, and poor impulse
  • Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD): People with ARBD might have problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones or with hearing. They might have a mix of
  • Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (ND- PAE): ND-PAE was first included as a recognized condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5 (DSM 5) of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 2013. A child or youth with ND-PAE will have problems in three areas: (1) thinking and memory, where the child may have trouble planning or may forget material he or she has already learned, (2) behavior problems, such as severe tantrums, mood issues (for example, irritability), and difficulty shifting attention from one task to another, and (3) trouble with day-to-day living, which can include problems with bathing, dressing for the weather, and playing with other children. In addition, to be diagnosed with ND-PAE, the mother of the child must have consumed more than minimal levels of alcohol before the child’s birth, which APA defines as more than 13 alcoholic drinks per month of pregnancy (that is, any 30-day period of pregnancy) or more than 2 alcoholic drinks in one

People with ND-PAE have problems with thinking, behavior, and life skills. ND- PAE occurs from being exposed to alcohol during pregnancy.

¡To help your child reach his or her full potential, getting help as soon as possible is of the utmost importance!

List of no medical services you can look for your child:

Home Care Speech Therapy

Occupational Therapy Equine Therapy Physical Therapy

Art Therapy Music Therapy Behavior Therapy Early Intervention