Ψ Developmental psychopathology is a field of psychology that applies the insight from studies of normal development to the study and treatment of childhood disorders
Ψ A child with special needs: A child for whom learning new skills & developing friendships are hampered by a psychological or physical disorder.
Ψ The four lessons that developmental psychopathology has provided are:
Abnormality is normal - Most children sometimes act in unusual ways & most children with disorders are, in general, quite normal.
Disability changes over time - "discontinuity in disorders from childhood to adulthood" is typical (Silk et al., 2000, p 728)
Adolescence & adulthood may be better or worse - Outcomes seem to be based on type of childhood disorder.
Diagnosis depends on social context - The DSM-IV-R recognizes that the "nuances of an individual's frame of reference" need to be understood before any disorder can be accurately diagnosed (APA, 2000, p. xxxiv).
Ψ A Guide:
• Use the DSM-IV, the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, developed by the American Psychiatric Association, which describes & distinguishes the symptoms of various emotional & behavioral disorders.
Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates