Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
Also called Heller’s syndrome, Childhood disintegrative disorder is a rare health condition that mostly affects children. It is a condition whereby children display normal development until when they are at least two years of age. Upon attaining the two years of age, children with this condition begin showing severe loss of communication, social, motor and other critical skills. This disorder is part of a broader class known as autism spectrum disorder. This condition forces a child to lose skills that he or she had already acquired at an early age.
Just like it is with other health conditions, Childhood disintegrative disorder has certain specific symptoms that can be used in identifying it. One of the signs of this condition is that a child ability to speak or have a conversation severely declines. Besides, the child also finds it difficult to associate or interact with others. This condition also alters a child’s playing habits. In fact, a child suffering from this condition gradually loses interest in playing and taking part in various fun activities.
A child with childhood disintegrative disorder also has his or her motor skills severely impaired. The child shows a dramatic decline in the ability to climb, walk, get hold of objects and undertake various kinds of movements. If the child had been previously trained on how to use a toilet, the condition can rip this skill off him or her. Such children can experience frequent accidents in the toilet and also be unable to control their bowels and bladders.
With Childhood disintegrative disorder, all the developmental progress that a child may have made is lost. This loss may occur quite fast within a period of days or weeks. However, there are also cases whereby the loss may take effect gradually over an extended duration of time.
Even though children usually develop at their own pace, any setback in development of skills that have already been learnt should be cause for alarm. In case you have a child who has suddenly lost some skills that had been previously acquired like explained in the symptoms above, it would be in order to see a doctor. Even if the child does not show all the signs but you suspect that he or she is showing a gradual loss in any area of development, it would be advisable that you consult with your doctor.
In case it is established that a child has lost function at least two skills that had earlier on been acquired, it would be proper to say that he or she is suffering from childhood disintegrative disorder. After thorough examination, a healthcare provider will offer advice on the best way to help the child. Mostly, a combination of behavioral therapy, medication and other treatment options are provided to eliminate the symptoms and bring the development milestones back on track.
Owing to the fact that this condition is quite rare, not enough research has been conducted to find out its cause. As for now, the cause of childhood disintegrative disorder has not yet been established.
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