Developmental Disorders

Heber Valley Pediatrics

Pediatrics & Behavioral Health located in Heber City, UT

When your child has a developmental disorder, such as autism or ADHD, you know that it’s difficult and heartbreaking for both you and your child. David Larson, MD, FAAP of Heber Valley Pediatrics in Heber City, Utah, specializes in developmental disorders that impact children of all ages. For a consultation and expert care, call the office or schedule an appointment online.

Developmental Disorders Q&A

What is a developmental disorder?

Developmental disorders are a group of mental health conditions that impact children. These types of disorders limit a child's ability to develop effective, strong language, communication, socialization, and motor skills.

Common developmental disorders include:

  • Autism
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Expressive communication disorders
  • Dyslexia
  • Tourette's syndrome
  • Hearing or visual impairments
  • Down Syndrome

In some cases, developmental disorders are genetic or present from birth (congenital). In other cases, health conditions such as epilepsy or cerebral palsy may cause developmental problems. Other risk factors for a child having developmental disorders include traumatic birth injury, maternal drug use during pregnancy, or premature birth. In many cases, there is no identifiable cause for a developmental disorders.

What is autism spectrum disorder?

Autism spectrum disorder refers to a group of mental disorders characterized by a child's inability to communicate or engage socially. A child or adult with autism spectrum disorder often has limited skills, interests, and patterns of behavior, which significantly impacts their ability to perform normal daily activities.

Autism exists on a spectrum, ranging from mild symptoms to debilitating impairments. An autistic child may exhibit symptoms such as:

  • Lack of eye contact, even with family
  • Lack of ability to socially interact
  • Frustrated or agitated by physical touch
  • Delayed or lack of language development
  • Inability to tolerate noise
  • Repetitive behaviors

Autistic children and adults usually require strict routines and rituals to cope with their environment. While a child doesn't grow out of autism, in many cases, they can learn to adapt to the world around them using specific skills. This is especially true when they have people in their lives who understand and help them manage their impairments. 

What are the treatments for developmental disorders?

There isn't a cure for developmental disorders. Treatments focus primarily on equipping both children and parents to manage daily activities and skills despite developmental impairments. For some developmental conditions, like ADHD, medications may improve symptoms and make coping easier.

Dr. Larson specializes in treating autism, ADHD, and chronic conditions that lead to developmental impairments. He is passionate about both treating your child and equipping you so that your child can lead a healthy, happy life despite their disorder. 

For a consultation regarding your child's developmental disorder, call the office or schedule an appointment with Heber Valley Pediatrics today.