Developmental Abnormalities in Children: Effects & Impacts on Learning

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  • 0:06 Developmental…
  • 2:04 Effects of…
  • 3:21 Intervention
  • 4:33 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 children have an impact on their learning and social skills. Examine an example in this lesson that will help you learn about the importance of early intervention.

Developmental Abnormalities in Children

Let's meet 7-year old Ben. Ben is struggling at school. He has trouble staying on task and completing his assignments. Even though he's a bright child, his grades are suffering because of this. Ben also has a hard time making friends because of the problems he's having at school. Is Ben's behavior a result of a developmental abnormality, or is he simply refusing to follow directions and do his school work?

In order to understand the answer to this question, we must first understand what constitutes normal and abnormal development. This is where the study of human growth and development is important. Much of what is studied in this field relates to what is considered normal development. When this is applied to child development, it helps us understand what most children should be capable of doing at different stages of their life. Because of this, it's important to pay attention to behavior that's different from normal developmental expectations based on the child's age. If it can be determined that a child's development is significantly delayed or different from that of their peers, it would be considered abnormal development.

Ben's behavior has significant differences from his peers. For example, when given directions for an in-class assignment, he will often become distracted before he even begins the task, and he has to be redirected often. Most of the other children in his class complete the assignment with little or no intervention.

His behavior also results in difficulty with normal daily activities. For example, Ben's mother has noticed that it's often challenging for him to play board games with the family because he becomes distracted and moves on to something else before the game is finished. It has been determined that Ben is suffering from ADHD, a disorder that is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and hyperactivity.


Now you know what abnormal development is, but what effect does it have on the child? Abnormal development can manifest in different ways, especially in children. There can be physical delays, such as a delay in gross motor skills. There can be cognitive dysfunction, such as an inability to focus attention. There can also be social or emotional manifestations, such as a lack of social skills or becoming easily frustrated.

It is important to recognize that behaviors may be a sign of abnormal development in children. This is because children use behavior as a form of communication, especially when they don't have the words or ability express themselves in another way. For example, a child who refuses to do their homework may be avoiding it because the task is difficult and it frustrates them. The child may not be able to communicate why they feel frustrated by the work so they become angry. These behaviors can have significant impacts on a child's learning and can also create social challenges or emotional issues that the child will have to overcome; 7-year old Ben is one example of a developmental abnormality that has effects on both learning and social interactions.

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