Warning Signs and Behaviors of Childhood Disorders, Part II: Rett’s and Disintegrative Disorders

  How could I know the difference between a warning sign and an appropriate behavior?
answer: Know the warning signs.

II-A.Warning Signs and Behaviors:
Rett’s Disorder

Typically following a short period of normal development:
• decrease in head growth from 5 to 48 months of age
• loss of previously acquired, purposeful hand skills
from 5 to 30 months with subsequent development
of stereotyped hand movements (ex: hand-wringing,
• loss of engaging in social interaction early in course
(despite social interaction often developing later)
• appearance of poorly coordinated gait or trunk movements
• severely impaired expressive and receptive language
development with severe psychomotor retardation

Rett’s Disorder is significant for multiple-specific deficits following a period of normal development and functioning after birth.

II-A.Warning Signs and Behaviors:
Disintegrative Disorder

Typically following at least a 2 year period of normal development:
• significant loss of previously learned skills
(before 10 years old) in at least 2 of the following:
expressive or receptive language, social skills or
adaptive behavior, bowel or bladder control, play,
motor skills
• impaired social interaction: nonverbal communication,
failure to develop peer relationships, lack of social or
emotional expression/reciprocity
• impaired communication: delay in spoken language,
inability to initiate or sustain conversation, stereotyped
and repetitive use of language, lack of
varied make believe play
• restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of
behavior, interests and intivities, including motor
stereotypes and mannerisms

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder is significant of regression in multiple areas of functioning following at least a 2 year period of apparently normal development.


Note: The above list provided is not intended for the use of diagnosing disorders. Disorders are diagnosed by the severity, frequency and a combination of many factors. Please seek professional advice should any of the above listed criteria cause any concern.


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