Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

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What to expect

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Childhood disintegrative disorder is similar to autistic spectrum disorder and can often be classed as a low functioning autistic spectrum disorder. Childhood disintegrative disorder is where a child will follow the normal pattern of development for the first two years of life and then lose previous skills learned. These skills include language, play, social and motor abilities. The speech and language therapist can help to support a child with childhood disintegrative disorder by increasing and supporting their communication abilities.

What is childhood disintegrative disorder?

Childhood disintegrative disorder is the loss of language, motor, social and play skills around the age of two years old, following a period of typical development of these skills.

A child with childhood disintegrative disorder will develop normally in their speech, language and play skills and then lose these abilities around the age of two years old.

Childhood disintegrative disorder will impact on speech, language and play skills and affect the childs ability to communicate with others around them. This may affect both the childs receptive (understanding) and expressive (verbal) skills.

In severe cases of childhood disintegrative disorder a child may be completely non-verbal (not able to speak) and have very limited understanding.

Speech and language therapy can help a child with childhood disintegrative disorder to communicate to their best potential.

What causes childhood disintegrative disorder?

The cause of childhood disintegrative disorder is unknown and it is thought to be the result of a combination of brain development, genetic and environmental factors.

What problems caused by childhood disintegrative disorder can speech and language therapy help with?

Childhood disintegrative disorder can impact on many areas of speech and language ability. Speech and language therapy can help with some of the following difficulties experienced by children with childhood disintegrative disorder:

  • attention and listening problems
  • speech sound problems
  • communication problems
  • expressive language problems
  • comprehension problems
  • Language delay and impairment
  • Social communication problems

How is childhood disintegrative disorder diagnosed?

Childhood disintegrative disorder is diagnosed in early childhood by a number of medical professionals. The speech and language therapist will carry out an assessment of your childs speech, language and communication abilities to determine what difficulties will need to be worked on in therapy.

An initial appointment carried out by the speech and language therapist will involve the following:

  • A conversation with you about your childs communication abilities and what your main areas of concern are.
  • Gathering information on your childs developmental history.
  • An observation of your childs communication and play skills.
  • A more detailed assessment of your childs language, play and interaction skills. Assessment may include asking your child to follow verbal instructions and name pictures.

How does speech and language therapy help children with childhood disintegrative disorder?

Childhood disintegrative disorder will impact on your childs speech and language abilities. Speech and language therapy will aim to improve this.

The impact of childhood disintegrative disorder on your childs speech and language difficulties will affect your childs ability to communicate effectively with others. In more severe cases a child with childhood disintegrative disorder may be non-verbal (not able to speak) and have very limited understanding. In more severe cases the speech and language therapist will evaluate what the best method of communication is for your child and may opt for alternative and augmentative communication e.g. picture exchange communication system or sign language.

The main aim of speech and language therapy for children with childhood disintegrative disorder is to maximise their communicative abilities. Speech and language therapy aims to improve the childs communication to their full potential, in a variety of environments including school and home.

What would speech and language therapy treatment for childhood disintegrative disorder involve?

The speech and language therapist will carry out a detailed assessment on your childs speech and language skills in order to determine what the best method of treatment will be. Speech and language therapy for childhood degenerative disorder may involve:

  • Assessments
  • Reports
  • One to One Therapy
  • Clinic Visits
  • Home Visits
  • Review
  • Groups
  • Training
  • Consultative Role
  • Alternative and Augmentative Communication
  • Advice and Education
  • Early Intervention

An initial appointment carried out by one of our speech and language therapists will also provide a chance for you to share any concerns you may have, and allow you to discuss what you would like to work on and improve.

How do I arrange a speech and language therapy assessment for childhood disintegrative disorder?

To arrange an assessment for your child with one our speech and language therapists please email office@slt.co.uk or call 0330 0885 643.

Summary

Childhood disintegrative disorder is the loss of language, play, motor and social skills around the age of two years old, following a period of typical development. Childhood disintegrative disorder can have an impact on a variety of speech and language skills. In more severe cases a child will be non-verbal (unable to speak) and have limited understanding. This will have an impact on your child's ability to communicate with others and make their basic needs known. Speech and language therapy aims to maximise the childs communicative potential. If you feel you or your child may benefit from any of the above services please do not hesitate to contact us.

To arrange an appointment with one of our speech and language therapists please email office@slt.co.uk or call 0161 887 0077.


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To speak to a Speech and Language Therapist or to book an appointment, call us on 0161 883 0111 or email office@slt.co.uk

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