Early Diagnosis of Disabilities and Its Impact

 By: Nadia Razzaq 

Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

Disability can occur at three levels:

  • an impairment in body function or structure, such as a cataract which prevents the passage of light and sensing of form, shape, and size of visual stimuli;
  • a limitation in activity, such as the inability to read or move around;
  • a restriction in participation, such as exclusion from school.

Some children will be born with a disabling health condition or impairment, while others may experience disability as a result of illness, injury or poor nutrition. A number of children have a single impairment while others may experience multiple impairments. For example a child with cerebral palsy may have mobility, communication and intellectual impairments.

 

Early childhood is the period from prenatal development to eight years of age. It is a crucial phase of growth and development because experiences during early childhood can influence outcomes across the entire course of an individual’s life. For all children, early childhood provides an important window of opportunity to prepare the foundation for life-long learning and participation, while preventing potential delays in development and disabilities. For children who experience disability, it is a vital time to ensure access to interventions which can help them reach their full potential.

 

Families are critical to the development and protection of their children and a close child-caregiver bond is important for both children with and without disabilities. If parents discover a child’s disability early and provide the right kind of help, it can give the child a chance to develop skills needed to lead a successful and productive life. It can helpful to reduce the intensity of the disability. A recent National Institutes of Health study showed that 67 percent of young students who were at risk for reading difficulties became average or above average readers after receiving help in the early grades.

Parents are often the first to notice that “something doesn’t seem right.” If you are aware of the common signs of disabilities, you will be able to recognize potential problems early. The following are the checklist of characteristics that may point to different disabilities

 

There are many different signs of intellectual disability in children. Signs may appear during infancy, or they may not be noticeable until a child reaches school age. It often depends on the severity of the disability. Some of the most common signs of intellectual disability are:

  • Rolling over, sitting up, crawling, or walking late
  • Talking late or having trouble with talking
  • Slow to master things liketoilet training, dressing, and feeding himself or herself
  • Difficulty remembering things
  • Inability to connect actions with consequences
  • Behavior problems such as explosive tantrums
  • Difficulty with problem-solving or logical thinking

There are many sign and symptoms of learning disabled children but following are the most common

  • Speaks later than most children
  • Pronunciation problems
  • Slow vocabulary growth, often unable to find the right word
  • Difficulty rhyming words
  • Trouble learning numbers, alphabet, days of the week, colors, shapes
  • Extremely restless and easily distracted
  • Trouble interacting with peers
  • Difficulty following directions or routines
  • Fine motor skills slow to develop

Following are the early signs of hearing impairment and communication disorder..

Signs in Babies
  • Does not startle at loud noises.
  • Does not turn to the source of a sound after 6 months of age.
  • Does not say single words, such as “dada” or “mama” by 1 year of age.
  • Turns head when he or she sees you but not if you only call out his or her name. This sometimes is mistaken for not paying attention or just ignoring, but could be the result of a partial or complete hearing loss.
  • Seems to hear some sounds but not others.
  • Speech is delayed.
  • Speech is not clear.
  • Does not follow directions. This sometimes is mistaken for not paying attention or just ignoring, but could be the result of a partial or complete hearing loss.
  • Often says, “Huh?”
  • Turns the TV volume up too high.

Most people will, from time to time, see one or more of these warning signs in their children. This is normal. If, however, you see several of these characteristics over a long period of time, consider the possibility of  alarming situation for your child , you should take suggestion  of other professionals like doctors ,psychologist ,speech language pathologist and teacher related to special education and help your child to reduce the intensity of disability.