Childhood and cognitive disorders

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Childhood and Cognitive Disorders

Kimberly Cox

Psych 410

Lara Asbaugh





Childhood and Cognitive Disorders

Many disorders can happen at any age in a person's life; however, there are several disorders that are first diagnosed, primarily during childhood. According to Hansell and Damour (2008) Anna Freud defined childhood disorders the best with,

"Identifying psychopathology in children implies asking whether the child under examination has reached developmental levels which are adequate for his age, whether and in what respects he has either gone beyond or remained behind them; whether maturation and development are ongoing processes or to what degree they are affected as a result of the child's disturbance" (p. 501).

Cognitive disorders are normally developed later in life, though there are instances when they can be found in younger individuals.

According to Hansell and Damour (2009) there are five prominent disorders with children that the DSM-IV-TR recognizes.

These would be mental retardation or impaired intellectual function, learning disorders or deficits in specific academic skills, pervasive developmental disorders, attention deficit and disruptive behavior disorders, and separation anxiety disorder. The two main categories of cognitive disorders include delirium and dementia, with amnesia being addressed as well (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Mental Retardation, Learning Disorders, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder


Children who are diagnosed with mental retardation have below average IQ or intellectual functioning with an onset before age 18. Average intellectual functioning comprises deficits in communication, self-care, home living, interpersonal skills, community resources, self-direction, academia, leisure, and safety. When a child has a significant discrepancy between intellectual ability and what he or she actually learning and retaining, a learning disorder is diagnosed (Hansell & Damour, 2008). The focus is a deficiency in area of academic learning. This child normally performs well...