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What are the Different Types of Treatment for Developmental Disorders in Children?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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The type of treatment for developmental disorders in children varies depending the type of condition. Physical therapy, speech therapy, and special education classes are potential types of treatment. Sometimes medication may also help with certain conditions. Counseling is also beneficial to some children so they can discuss their feelings, which can range from anger to depression.

Developmental disorders can include a wide range of conditions. Cerebral palsy, fragile X, Down syndrome, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and dyslexia may all be considered developmental disorders. Some are more severe than others. For instance, fragile X often causes severe mental retardation while dyslexia generally only requires one-on-one attention and different learning techniques.

Early intervention with one-on-one learning situations is one potential treatment for developmental disorders in children. Young children with certain developmental delays may need very close and personalized attention in order to learn new things. This can include smaller classrooms, such as a special education setting, or individualized attention with a tutor or single teacher. Which type of learning environment is needed will depend on the individual child.

Sometimes treatment for developmental disorders in children can include physical therapy. This is the case in many children with conditions like cerebral palsy, since even simple activities like holding a pen or pencil can be challenging for them. Others may need more physical activity than other children to burn off steam and allow them to focus better once they return to a classroom.

Speech therapy and lessons on completing simple everyday tasks may also be needed during treatment for development disorders in children. Kids who have serious conditions which lead to mental retardation or severely delayed learning may require extra time to learn tasks like using scissors, holding a pencil, or bathing themselves. In-home care may be needed for some children with severe disabilities.

It is important for children to begin receiving special treatment as soon as a learning disorder is diagnosed. The sooner this treatment is begun, the better the long-term outcome for most children. There is no general rule for how effective a particular treatment will be since each child is different and may require different techniques than someone else. Occasionally, medication will be used in the initial faces of treatment for developmental disorders in children, although these are often discontinued when the child is older.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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