It is common for some children to exhibit difficult and resistant behaviour that can be outside typical developmental norm for them. While boys are more likely to exhibit certain behavioural issues than girls, it is not uncommon to see these same traits in girls too. These problems can result from certain transitionary stressors in the child’s life and environment; academic pressures; learning issues that are not identified; inconsistent parenting; or may be suggestive of an underlying condition (e.g. Autism, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Anxiety Disorders).
Social Communication Disorders (SCD)
A new addition to the Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5), SCD encompasses problems with social interaction, social understanding and pragmatics. Children with SCD exhibit significant problems using verbal and nonverbal communication for social purposes. They exhibit difficulties in:
- Responding to others
- Verbal and non verbal communication and adjusting to others
- Taking turns when talking or playing
- Talking about emotions and feelings
- Staying on topic
- Modulating speech to suit different people or situations – for instance, talking differently to a young child versus an adult or lowering one’s voice in a library.
- Asking relevant questions or responding with related ideas during conversation
- Making and keeping friends
Children who have Learning Difficulties have certain challenges when it comes to learning in an academic environment. They consist of a variety of disorders that affect the acquisition, retention, understanding, organization or use of information. This can interfere with the way in which a person takes in, remembers, understands and expresses information.
Three broad categories:
Speech and Language Disorders
- Developmental articulation disorder
- Developmental expressive language disorder
- Developmental receptive language disorder
Academic Skills Disorders
- Developmental Reading Disorder, also known as Dyslexia
- Developmental Writing Disorder, also known as Dysgraphia
- Developmental Arithmetic Disorder, also known as Dyscalculia
Other Learning Difficulties
Which includes certain coordination disorders and learning handicaps not covered by the other categories mentioned above. This may include motor skills disorders which will cover delays in acquiring language, academic, and motor skills that can affect the ability to learn. For example Dyspraxia, a difficulty with motor planning has an impact on a person’s ability to coordinate appropriate body movements.