Definition: Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD) is a rare condition characterized by late onset of developmental delays in language, social function, and motor skills. CDD has some similarities to Autistic Disorder, sometimes being labeled as low-functioning Autism. Researchers have not been successful in finding a cause for the disorder.
Understanding Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
Childhood disintegrative disorder is a condition where children have a completely normal development until around the ages of 2 to 4, and then seem to demonstrate or experience a dramatic increase in the loss of communication, social, and other skill sets that they may have acquired. Unfortunately scientists researching childhood disintegrative disorder have yet to determine the cause of the disorder.
Childhood disintegrative disorder is very similar to autism; many doctors say childhood disintegrative disorder is a less detrimental form of autism. Once the child has started a normal growth, the noticeable side effects of childhood disintegrative disorder can be seen between the ages of 4 to 10, where the regression is suddenly much stronger.
In some cases the symptoms of childhood disintegrative disorder have been so severe even the child begins to voice concerns over what is happening. This is very scary for the child, as the aggressive regression is confusing and often leads to a more hostile child at times.
Signs of Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
There are various signs and symptoms to watch for if childhood disintegrative disorder is suspected. Normal growth happens up until the age of approximately two years of age, and then continues to progress up until the age of ten. Each and every skill the child has acquired may be lessened or completely lost all together.
There are six distinct functional areas where the child may lose such skills. The skills they may lose are as follows:
- expressive language skills
- receptive language skills
- social skills and self-care skills
- the control over bowel and bladder
- play skills
- motor skills
The lack of normal functions or deterioration also occurs in at least in one of these areas:
- Social interaction
- communication repetitive behavior
- interest patterns
The causes of childhood disintegrative disorder are still unknown. Childhood disintegrative disorder surfaces from within days or weeks while in other cases it matures over a longer period of time.
A Clinic report specifies that: “Comprehensive medical and neurological examinations in children diagnosed with childhood disintegrative disorder occasionally uncovers a fundamental medical or neurological cause.” Although the happening of epilepsy is higher in children with childhood disintegrative disorder, experts don’t know if epilepsy plays a major role in the causing of the disorder. Childhood disintegrative disorder is linked to other conditions such as lipid storage, subacute sclerosing panecepphaliyis , tuberus sclerosis. Although the causes are unknown, childhood disintegrative disorder is very well linked to other conditions.
There is no cure for childhood disintegrative disorder. The loss of language and skills related to social interaction and self-care are severe. The affected children face long-lasting disabilities and may require to be in a long term care facility. Treatment of childhood disintegrative disorder includes both behavior therapy and medications.
Watching for the symptoms of childhood disintegrative disorder is beneficial to both the child and the parents to try and help and receive treatment for this horrible disease.