Children with Handicaps: A Review of Behavioral Research

By Gershon Berkson | Go to book overview

3
Causes of Developmental Disorders

The first two chapters have emphasized the many factors associated with individual differences between handicapped children. Some general principles have been set out, and the main classes of developmental disorders of behaviors have been discussed. Missing in the discussion has been an emphasis on the causes or etiology of developmental disorders. In this chapter, we add a consideration of etiology because it is centrally important to later chapters on family processes and on treatment.

Interest in the etiology of behavioral orders of development comes from two sources. The first is the strong tendency among families of developmentally handicapped children to wish to attribute some cause to their child's handicap. The second interest in the study of causes of developmental disorders comes from the need to prevent handicapping conditions. Prevention is practical in many instances and perhaps is the ultimate treatment for disorders of development. For instance, recent advances in the understanding of the hereditary causes have lead to active family-planning programs involving genetic counseling. Lack of iodine was a major cause of mental retardation before the importance of a small amount of iodine in the diet was understood. Extreme forms of social deprivation during early postnatal development have been shown to have important effects on later adaptation. Understanding of the importance of social factors has led to social programs such as out-of-home adoption that have corrected abnormal early social environments.

The purpose of this chapter, then, is to review the topic of etiology of

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Children with Handicaps: A Review of Behavioral Research
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • I - General Issues 1
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • 2 - Categories and Prevalence 41
  • 3 - Causes of Developmental Disorders 69
  • 4 - Identification and Diagnosis 105
  • II - Individual Psychology 127
  • 5 - Sensorimotor Processes 129
  • 6 - Attention, Learning, and Memory 149
  • 7 - Intelligence, Play, and Language 173
  • 8 - Motivation and Personality 205
  • III - Social Psychology 229
  • 9 - Social Interactions 231
  • 10 - Educational Programs and Treatment Methods 269
  • 11 - Life in Adulthood 314
  • References 337
  • Author Index 439
  • Subject Index 475
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