Comorbidities in Developmental Disorders – Chapter 5: Early Language Disorder as a Frequent Comorbidity in Many Developmental Disorders in Young Children (ebook)
Chapter 5 of the book – Early Language Disorder as a Frequent Comorbidity in Many Developmental Disorders in Young Children
We have created clean diagnostic ‘boxes’ to classify developmental disorders, for example developmental language disorder, intellectual disability, attention-defi cit disorder, autism. We have operationalised the criteria for creating clear boundaries to each ‘box’ so that it appears to be a ‘diagnosis’. This has greatly enhanced communication among professionals and fostered research on well-defi ned populations. Diagnostic labels play a critical role in securing medical and educational services, and for communicating with parents and professionals whose main concern is not nosologic classifi cation. We need to keep in mind, however, that although there are many prototypical exemplars of children who fit our boxes perfectly, there are also many children who do not: some children might just as well be put into one as another box or into several boxes; others may not meet strict criteria for any box and remain in diagnostic limbo, with the consequence that their needs may not be met.
About the complete book
In the last decade the term ’comorbidity’ has gained popularity in the field of paediatric neurodisability, with the increasing recognition that many conditions are rarely present in isolation. Within this field, the term is often used to refer to the co-occurrence of conditions more frequently than would be expected by chance, which can include instances where one condition causes the other, where they share a common cause (for example, genetic), or where they are in fact manifestations of a single condition. Whether it is valid to use the term ’comorbidity’ in all these situations, and how precisely it should be used, is something that the contributors to this book grapple with in their own fields of interest. The contributors, all world experts in their fields, also discuss what we can learn from the presence of comorbidities, however defined, about the aetiology and treatment of neurodevelopmental disabilities. In particular, they demonstrate how our increasing understanding of the mechanisms underlying the common association of many ‘comorbidities’ is helping us to understand the natural history of these conditions and improve our management of them.
Paediatricians, paediatric neurologists, child psychiatrists, neurodevelopmentalists, and physical, occupational and speech therapists working with children with developmental disabilities.
Clinics in Developmental Medicine No. 187