Speech Therapy

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder – Causes and Symptoms

Childhood disintegrative disorder is similar to autism. In this disorder, a child’s development progresses normally till the age of 2-4, after which there is a severe loss of motor and other skills. Read on to know more about the symptoms and causes of childhood disintegrative disorder.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder – An Overview

Symptoms of Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Children suffering from this disorder exhibit these signs and symptoms:

There is a severe loss of skills which were previously acquired by the child.

  • Bladder or bowel control – Involves frequent accidents in the child who was earlier toilet-trained.
  • Motor skills – Involves a dramatic loss in movements like grasping objects, climbing and walking.
  • Play – Involves loss of interest in various games and activities as well as imaginary play.
  • Social skills – Involves difficulty in interacting with and relating to others.
  • Language – Involves a loss in the ability to have a conversation or even to speak.

These various developmental losses may suddenly occur within a few days or weeks or gradually over a certain period of time.

Causes of Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

The exact cause of childhood disintegrative disorder is yet unknown. Many tend to believe that there can be a genetic basis for this autism spectrum malfunctions. According to this theory, it is said that an abnormal gene becomes active in the initial stages of development, before the birth of the child. This faulty gene then affects the other genes which coordinate the child’s brain development. Apart from this, even environmental exposures like infections or toxins can cause these effects.

Another theory is that an autoimmune response can lead to the manifestation of childhood disintegrative disorder. In this type of response, the body’s immune system identifies normal body components as external and foreign objects. Hence, the immune system attacks them. Therefore, it is still not known whether these conditions lead to the manifestation of childhood disintegrative disorder.

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