December 1, 2009

Psychosis Disorder- Childhood Disintegrative Disorder Symptoms, Treatment

Posted in Category : Child Health

Childhood disintegrative disorder is also known as disintegrative psychosis or Heller’s syndrome is a very rare condition that is quite similar to autism. This condition occurs in less than five out of a thousand children. CDD normally manifests itself by the 3rd or 4th year of a child’s life. The child will display normal development in the initial 3 years of his or her life, till this condition begins to show. When CDD manifests; any previously learned or acquired social and language skills are lost and this is followed by a continuous and ongoing delay within these areas. For example, a child that is able to utter 3-4 word phrases will abruptly or gradually lose this capability of communicating, resorting to the use of a few words or only fragments of the phrases. In addition there is a regression of emotional and social development as well; the child then faces a difficulty in relating to others.

In general, the behavioral, communicative and social features of this particular condition, very closely resemble that of autism disorder. Both conditions display a highly distinct quality impairment in communication and social interaction. In addition stereotyped, repetitive or restricted patters of activities, interests and behavior occur. There could also be the motor loss of a previously acquired skill, for example a child that had been toilet trained previously, will now soil anytime during the course of the day or a child that had previously learned to ride a tricycle may no longer be able to do so. Social interactions gradually tend to become compromised along with motor functions, this results in reduced coordination and also the possibility of an awkward gait.

Heller’s Syndrome – Autism Psychosis

What causes this condition exactly is still being researched. This condition has been found to be more common in boys than in girls, but its occurrence is still about 10 times lesser than autism. The treatment for this condition is the same as that of autistic disorder, simply due to the large similarity between the two disorders. Treatment for CDD can prove to be very prolonged and difficult. The condition requires parents to work in co-ordination with therapists and teachers in order to encourage speech development and social adjustment in the child. Positive reinforcement methods for appropriate language or behavior or responses, has been found to be successful, to a very large extent, in promoting skills. The Family members could also at times require counseling as many a time they tend feel inadequate or guilty.