4 Developmental Issues in Children and their Symptoms

X Developmental Issues in Children and their Symptoms

The healthy development of children into physically active, mentally agile, emotionally mature, and socially well-adjusted people is one of the key goals of parents. Children’s growth is measured against a group of set parameters. Anyone falling short of any one of these parameters may be suffering from a developmental disorder and may even need professional help to overcome the problem.  

Developmental issues impact the everyday capabilities of children to function effectively and hamper their development. Developmental disorders compromise the physical health, cognitive skills, language, or behavioral growth of a child. These medical conditions can exist at a mild or severe level, depending on the affected organ. The various causes behind these conditions include genetic mutations, unhealthy pregnancies, or a variety of environmental factors. 

The anomalies exist on two levels, i.e., both structural and developmental abnormalities. 

  • Structural anomalies related to different body parts
  • Developmental abnormalities impact learning or mental faculties and physical body movement

Types of developmental disorders

Developmental issues emerge in childhood at a very early age and limit the capabilities of children even as adults. These problems impact their functional efficiency. Most commonly diagnosed disorders include:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • ADHD
  • Learning disabilities
  • Physical shortcomings 
  • Other delays in development

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism is a neurological disorder that tends to impact an individual’s ability to communicate and relate to the emotions of those around them. Parents and doctors will be able to recognize signs of autism when a child is two years old. In some cases, this number gets extended to 5 years as well. Several other disorders fall under ASD, such as Asperger syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder. The word ‘spectrum’ means that the symptoms and the severity of the condition exist on a wide scale. Following are the common symptoms of ASD as shown through brain damage diagnosis

  •  Repetitive movements, such as rocking or spinning
  • Avoiding physical contact
  • Avoiding any eye contact
  • Speaking very short phrases
  •  Limited interaction or contact with peers
  • Inability to settle due to any changes in routine

Not all children exhibit the same symptoms, and behaviors can vary individually. 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is the most common neurological disorder among children. The most common behavior shown by children with ADHD includes lack of focus, impulsive behavior, or display of hyperactivity. It is important to note that children grow out of some of these patterns. In situations where they don’t, it impacts their life at home, school, and interactions with friends. There can be different causes of ADHD, including brain injury, consumption of alcohol by the mother during pregnancy, premature delivery, or even low birth weight. Research shows that popularly believed causes of ADHD such as watching too much television, eating lots of sugar, and environmental factors such as poverty carry no significance. 

Following is a list of symptoms that children with ADHD exhibit: 

  • Daydreaming
  • Constant fidgeting
  • Excessive talking
  • Having trouble waiting for their turn
  • Difficulty in getting along well with their peers
  • Forgetting things

Learning disabilities

Children may have problems acquiring a specific set of skills. If these learning difficulties have been identified, and even after hard work, children cannot grasp a particular skill or learn a specific concept, it may indicate a learning disorder. Many children face difficulties in comprehension, reading, or writing. This difficulty does not imply that they have learning disorders, which have very different signs/symptoms and last longer. Following are the most common signs noticed in children with learning disabilities: 

  • Trouble telling right from left
  • Inability to read letters, numbers, or words sequentially or reverse their order
  • Trouble telling the time and following directions
  • Inability to remember or recall information shared verbally
  • Clumsiness, difficulty in working with hands 
  • Disorganization
  • Problems in reading and writing

Physical problems

Physical defects such as disproportionate growth of body parts or malformed facial features and lack of movement coordination are some of the problems that children may face. Body development is hampered, and physical challenges emerge with disorders such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and spina bifida. Following are different physical problems that children usually face along with these symptoms: 

  • Muscular dystrophy is diagnosed at an early age of 3-6, and the most common signs include difficulty in walking, rising, and frequent falling. 
  • Cerebral Palsy (CP) develops with abnormal brain growth as the muscles are extremely weak. Abnormal posture, muscles, and delays in sitting or walking are the most common signs. 
  • Spina Bifida directly affects the spine and paralyzes the legs. Urinary incontinence, as well as loss of skin sensation, are some of the common symptoms. 

Note that some of these challenges can be very visible, but some might be less evident, such as any change in the brain’s structure.


Once diagnosed, children can be treated using individually tailored treatment plans using medicines and therapies. Working closely with the healthcare professional allows the parents to work towards an approach that fits their family the best. These development disorders can go away where utmost care and support are provided. 

As facilitators and the ones who deal with the maximum amount of stress, parents also need counseling and therapy to deal with the challenges posed by developmental disorders. Many people find support groups beneficial where they surround themselves with people going through similar issues within their local vicinity. Fighting unhelpful and anxiety-inducing thoughts is extremely important as people facing such disorders are at an increased risk of facing mental health disorders. Selecting the right health care and mental health professional with the right qualifications and experience makes it easier for you to identify the issues and work on them in the long run. 

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