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Developmental Abnormalities in Adults: Effects & Social Concerns

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  • 0:05 Developmental…
  • 0:51 Effects on the Individual
  • 2:14 Interventions and…
  • 4:34 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lisa Roundy

Lisa has taught at all levels from kindergarten to college and has a master's degree in human relations.

Developmental abnormalities in adults can have significant effects on the individual and an impact on society. In this lesson, examine examples and explore some of these issues.

Developmental Abnormalities in Adults

John is a 36 year old with Down syndrome. John has a moderate intellectual disability that affects his daily life. Even though he is capable of making a contribution to society, he needs support as an adult in order to be successful.

John is an example of an adult with a developmental abnormality. What constitutes abnormal development in an adult? We have to understand what is considered normal in order to recognize development that is significantly different. The field of human growth and development helps us understand what is considered normal development. If someone's development is significantly different from that of their peers, it is considered abnormal development.

Effects on the Individual

We know that abnormal development is any development that is significantly different from others, but what effect does abnormal development have on an adult?

John was born with a condition that will affect him throughout his life in many ways. Because of this, he is unable to live in the same way as most other adults his age. Since he needs assistance to perform some of his activities, such as keeping track of his finances, John lives in an apartment that is part of a supervised independent living program.

Developmental abnormalities can affect many areas of adult functioning. Thought processes may be affected in a person with schizophrenia. A person with obsessive compulsive disorder might exhibit unusual behaviors. Speech patterns and sensory processing may be different in a person with autism. These are just a few examples of ways that adult functioning can be affected.

Another issue is that adults with abnormal development may have difficulty expressing themselves properly. Miscommunications can lead to frustration, anger, or depression.

Abnormal development in adults can also result in difficulty performing normal activities independently. Remember John? He lives in a supervised independent living program so that he can receive the assistance that he needs.

Interventions and Social Effects

John is an example of an adult with abnormal development who is receiving intervention so that he can live as independently as possible. Many adults with developmental abnormalities often need help with activities, such as paying their bills, grocery shopping, or help finding a job if they are capable of working. John works stocking shelves at a local grocery store. He received assistance to obtain this job from the living program he is a part of.

John is lucky because he is in a program that gives him the ability to work and live independently. This affects how he views himself and how he is viewed by society. Some adults with developmental abnormalities are less fortunate. Adults with developmental abnormalities who do not have access to programs like the one John is a part of can have a less optimistic outlook on life.

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