Childhood disorders are disorders that occur in children but which can also extend into adulthood, especially if left untreated. The different categories of disorders include intellectual disabilities, learning disorders, behaviour disorders, separation axiety disorders and elimination disorders.
The causes of childhood disorders could be both genetic and environmental. As is the risk in various other mental disorders, environmental factors like a poor living environment, abusive relationships, and prenatal infection could trigger the development of a childhood disorder. Biology may also play a role in terms of genes, brain abnormalities, or brain damage due to injury.
Behavior disorders include attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and conduct and oppositional defiant disorder. For the latter, the child may be very disobedient, disruptive, angry, and act out in violence (oppositional defiant disorder) or violate the rights of others and pushes past the boundaries of society (conduct disorder).
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Meanwhile, elimination disorders involve the inability to control the bladder (enuresis) or bowel movements (encropresis). Disorders of cognitive, motor, and communication skills include learning disorders like dyslexia, issues with communication such as difficulty speaking, and motor disorders including inability to engage in complex movement or extreme clumsiness. Autism is one of the most studied of the pervasive developmental disorders and involves a child who seems lost in their own world and unable to make emotional connections.
Children may also present with psychological disorders like depression and anxiety, including separation anxiety disorder, in which the child is very distressed and anxious about being separated from someone with whom they are attached (often their caregiver). Diagnoses of depression and anxiety in children remain somewhat controversial, especially in terms of deciding on appropriate treatments for children.
Due to the fact that the range of childhood disorders is so large, treatment can vary widely. For instance, psychotherapy may be used to try to help the child talk through their problems, depending on their age, which may solve an underlying issue presenting itself in the form of a disorder. Behavioral therapy may also be used to help shape the child's actions to be more acceptable in society, and speech and physical therapy could also be used to help the child.