Normal and Abnormal Development
Developmental psychopathology is the study of how disorders arise and change with time.
These changes usually follow a pattern, with the child mastering one skill before acquiring the
next. This aspect of development is important, because it implies that any disruption in the
acquisition of early skills will also disrupt the development of later skills.
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
The primary characteristics of people with ADHD are a pattern of inattention (such as not
paying attention to school work or work tasks) or hyperactivity-impulsivity, or both. These
deficits can significantly disrupt academic efforts and social relationships.
DSM groups the learning disorders as reading disorder, mathematics disorder, and disorder of
written expression. All are defined by performance that falls far short of expectations based on
intelligence and school preparation.
Verbal or communication disorders seem closely related to learning disorders. They include
stuttering (a disturbance in speech fluency), expressive language disorder (very limited
speech in all situations but without the types of cognitive deficits that lead to language
problems in people with mental retardation or a pervasive developmental disorder), selective
mutism (refusal to speak despite having the ability to do so), and tic disorders (include
voluntary motor movements such as head twitching and vocalizations such as grunts that
occur suddenly, in rapid succession, & in very idiosyncratic or stereotyped ways.
Pervasive Developmental Disorders
People with pervasive developmental disorder all experience trouble progressing in language,
socialization, and cognition. The use of the word pervasive means these are not minor
problems (like learning disabilities) and are conditions that significantly affect how
Autistic disorder (or autism) is a childhood disorder characterized by significant impairment
in social interactions, gross and significant impairment in communication, and restricted
patterns of behaviour, interest and activities. It probably does not have a single cause; instead,
a number of biological conditions may contribute, and these, in combination with psychosocial
influences, result in the unusual behaviours displayed by ppl with autism.
Asperger’s disorder is characterized by impairment in social relationships and restricted or
unusual behaviours or activities, but it does not present the language delays obse