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Attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood behavioral disorder that can continue its progression into adulthood. Symptoms in children include difficulty staying focused, over-activity and impulsivity. Children with ADHD often find it hard to complete tasks and perform up to their peers and often have problems at school.
There are three subtypes of ADHD which include:
Development is the process by which a child learns new skills to interact with those around them and survive in their environment. It happens at a rapid rate during early childhood. Basic skills developed are combined to learn more complex skills such as walking, playing, speaking and thinking. Although children grow at different rates, certain milestones of development such as sitting, walking, talking etc. are associated with particular age groups. Some children may catch up with their peers after displaying an initial delay in development (transient developmental delay) while others show significant developmental delay that need further evaluation (persistent developmental delay).
Children may show persistent developmental delay in one or more areas including:
Sleep is essential for physical health and emotional wellbeing. Everyone experiences occasional sleeping problems, but if your child repeatedly experiences problems sleeping, it could indicate an underlying health problem. Sleep disorders are problems associated with sleeping, including difficulty falling or staying asleep through the night, feeling sleepy during the day, snoring, breathing pauses while sleeping, sleepwalking, nightmares or waking up feeling exhausted. Because of lack of sleep, your child may find it difficult to concentrate and perform activities of daily living. This lack of sleep can lead to problems in mood, learning and behavior, or other health problems.
Some of the common types of sleep disorders include:
Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of neuro developmental disorders characterized by impaired social skills, communication and behavior, which are usually recognized in the first three years of life. A range of symptoms may occur in different combinations of varying severity.
Epilepsy is a condition caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain, which produce episodes of involuntary shaking (seizures)that may be followed by periods of unconsciousness. Seizures may be generalized, involving the whole brain, or partial, where a part of the brain is involved. Generalized seizures may present as staring spells, unconsciousness, sporadic jerking movements, muscle rigidity, or loss of muscle tone, causing your child to fall down. Partial seizures may produce changes in sensation (hearing, vision, smell, taste or touch), involuntary chewing, lip smacking and other repetitive movements, and emotional disturbances. Other symptoms of epilepsy include confusion and staring spells. Epilepsy usually begins in childhood.
Your child’s doctor will first rule out other possible causes of seizures before confirming a diagnosis of epilepsy. A thorough history and physical examination is performed. Your child’s doctor may order blood tests, an electroencephalogram (EEG) to study the electrical activity of the brain and an MRI to look for brain abnormalities.
Phonology is referred to as the study of the sounds of language. Pronunciation errors are common in children when they are learning to talk. During the child’s development stages, phonological disorders can affect a child’s ability to learn, read or spell. Speech problems are usually temporary and can often be overcome.
Types of problems with speech may include:
Some of the common speech disorders are:
Memory is the ability to retain and retrieve information. Memory retained indefinitely such as your name, where you work or how to ride a bike is termed long-term memory. Working memory is the ability to hold on to information for a short while as you process and integrate it with new information being received. This includes remembering the beginning of a sentence when you reach its end or remembering numbers while performing simple math. Difficulties with learning are usually associated with difficulties in working memory.
Difficulties with working memory may be present by itself or as a feature in a wide variety of specific learning difficulties which may include:
Movements are produced by an interaction between the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles. Damage to any of these structures can lead to disruption or loss of movement. Movement disorders are a group of neurological disorders characterized by abnormal involuntary or voluntary movements. Deficit in movements may involve weakness, paralysis or exaggerated reflexes of voluntary muscles, decreased movement of involuntary muscles, and loss of coordination.
Some movement disorders in children may include
These conditions are rare but collectively they have a substantial impact on the local healthcare system. These conditions require a systematic and evidence-based diagnostic approach with continuous discussion with parents. Many a times a definitive diagnosis is not reached in spite of all the investigative processes and in those cases symptomatic management is initiated. We have collaborated with accredited and reputed laboratories across the country for the judicious use of investigative procedures. Once the diagnosis is made appropriate referral to the clinical geneticist and metabolic physician is made.
Behavioral problems are common in children as they grow up and learn to relate to people and situations. They may show defiance and have difficulty getting along with others, causing them to talk back and get into fights. If these problems are persistent and cannot be corrected with time, advice or redirection, it may be a sign of a behavioral disorder.
Behavioral disorders may be recognized through symptoms such as anger, defiance, involvement in law-breaking activities, lack of empathy, being aggressive and impulsive, poor performance at school, premature sexual activity, and inability to handle frustrations. Substance abuse and suicidal tendencies are common in those with behavioral disorders;hence, it is necessary to seek assistance early. While the dynamics of the family and upbringing play a vital role, behavioral disorders may also be associated with other mental health problems, such as depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Pain in any region of the head is called a headache. It may involve one or both sides of the head and may radiate to the neck and shoulders. Your child may experience dull pressure, a throbbing sensation or sharp pain that may last anywhere between an hour to days.In some cases it may indicate a serious underlying disease.
Headaches are broadly classified into 2 types:
A neuromuscular disease is a disorder that affects the muscles and the nerves that control them. Neuromuscular disorders are conditions caused by impaired neuronal activity of the nerves that control the voluntary muscle activities. Children with neuromuscular disorders often experience muscle pain or weakness, muscle twitching, cramping, numbness and tingling, and muscle stiffness that causes joint deformities and sometimes difficulty in swallowing and breathing. Neuromuscular disorders in children may be present at the time of birth or may develop at later stages of life.
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