Growth Disorders in Children with Disabilities II

Growth Disorders in Children with Disabilities II

  Autor Psiholog-logoped, Veronica Stancescu Data: 12.07.2006

Growth Disorders in Children with Disabilities II
A disability is a loss, a structure disorder, a psychological or anatomical function disorder. A disability implies the externalizing of the pathological condition to some organ. 

The main types of disabilities are the intellectual, psychological, speech and language, hearing, visual, balance, aesthetical, general functions. 

Hearing test 

The Boel test is used for children of 7 to 10 months and only if there are perfectly healthy. For the Boel test, the child stays on his mother's knees and the examiner stays at his back, facing the mother, the child is shown a colored stick or a game which is placed between him and his mother and moved horizontally and vertically. While the child is busy with the stick, the examiner puts his hand silently to the back of one ear of the child and rings a bell. 
We must make sure that the child doesn't see the hand moving. In case he hears the bell, he will turn his head towards the sound. The test must be done for 2-3 times at intervals less than one week. 
At birth, as the auditory system is immature, the newborn startles at powerful sounds from 60 up to 100 db. At 4-6 months of age they react to lower intensity sounds (over 10-20 db). At this age, the sudden disappearance of babbling might be a sign of hearing impairment, because the game of associating the babbling with the sound has no meaning. 
At the age of 10-20 months the deaf child starts watching the lips and face of the person speaking and starts communicating by indicating directly the objects or through gestures which he copies from the others around him. In case you don't understand the deaf child's message, he gets angry, shouts and cries till exhaustion. 

Motility development disorders 
These are the normal relations disorders of a child with the environment, caused by the insufficient conjugation of mental and motor forces in order to complete an action (Ioan Dorin Radu and Gheorghe Ulici). The sensory- perceptual, motor and intellectual deficiencies lead to disorders of the motor control and coordination. During the human development, a person needs to move permanently in order to adapt to the environment. 
Starting with the intrauterine life, there are adaptation moves to the intrauterine environment, moves that are being perceived by the mother around the fourth month of development. 

After birth, the infants moves are spasmodic, uncontrolled and uncoordinated, with a rapid evolution in the first year of life, with the stages: 
  • in the first three months, prevails the development of mouth and eyes movements 
  • in the 4, 5, 6 month, prevails the development of neck, head and shoulders movement 
  • in the 7, 8, 9 months prevails the development of trunk, arms and hands movement 
  • in the 10, 11 and 12 months prevails the development of extremities: tongue, fingers, legs and feet. 
After the first year, the body development continues as following: 
  • between 12 and 18 months of age, the walking replaces the crawling 
  • up to the 15 months of age, the child starts handling the glass, the cup, the spoon and fork 
  • at 20 months the walking becomes stable, and the child starts even running 
  • at 2 years old he climbs the stairs 
  • in the third and fourth year of life, walking and running are perfectly controlled, with great balance progresses, the child being able to use the tricycle and pedal car. 
  •  At 3-4 years old, the child runs, throws the balls, jumps on one foot, climbs, eats alone, starts dressing and undressing by himself, ends the buttons, tightens the shoelaces, does easy work in the house. 
The average age for motor and psychomotor development is between 0 and 6 years, and this has been divided into stages, regarding the important periods of development, as follows: 
  • between 0 and 3 months - the stage of uncontrolled moves 
  • between 4 and 6 months - the stage of uncoordinated moves 
  • between 7 and 10 months - the stage of coordination beginning i 
  • between 10 and 24 months - the stage of partial coordination 
  • between 3 and 5 years - the stage of complete control of the body 
  • after 6 years - the stage of completion of the motor and psychomotor ability 
As a result of the long observation of the normal development of the child at different ages, many psychologists and doctors have made detailed development schedules. They have been used later, in order to observe the stage of the normal development of the child. Among the most known schedules, we mention: 
  • The Gesell schedule is a development schedule for the examination of children between 4 weeks and 5 years old, being extended up to 10 years. The schedule contains between 28 and 46 item (being varied according to the age) and refers to the motor, verbal behavior and to the social adaptation. 
  • Brunet-Lezine scale is a French adaptation of the Gesell schedule, in order to identify and diagnose the mental deficiency, at early ages. 
The scale observes four areas:
1. motor-postural
2. language
3. behavior regarding the adaptation to objects c
4. social and personal relationships

In order to identify the deviations from the normal development and to organize specific educational programs, having as a purpose the reduction and disappearance of the disabilities, there have been made schedules and development scales, tests, rating scales and education programs. The frequency of such impairments is about 1 to 6 per thousand from the entire population. The plus or minus variation of these frequencies might be influenced by transient causes such as insufficient sensor stimulation, emotional trauma, fatigue, alcohol, coffee and drugs excesses, intoxications etc. Once these causes disappear, the psychomotor impairment disappears or is favored to do so. 

The psychomotor instability manifests itself through moving excess (as quantity), through an irresistible need to move, caused by fatigue especially. Until the age of 3-4 years, the instability is mostly physiological, but if it becomes constant and exceeds 7-12 years of age, it becomes pathological. 
The psychomotor restlessness consists in a precipitate, spasmodic, hyperactive behavior, and also inefficient, parasitical, obstructing or slowing the ending of actions, and leading to a weak integration and insufficient coordination of psychomotor functions. 

1. Evaluarea si educarea pshicomotricitatii, Ioan Dorin Radu, Gheorge Ulici, Fundatia Humanitas Publishing, 2003 
2. Psihopedagogie speciala, Ilie Stanica, Mariana Popa, Doru Vlad Popovici, Pro Humanitatea Publishing, Bucuresti 2001 
3. Handicap Readaptare Integrare, Bucuresti Publising, 1998 
4. Deficientele senzoriale din perspectiva psihopedagogiei speciale, Anca Rozorea, Ex Ponto/ Publishing

Read the English version of this article: Growth Disorders in Children with Disabilities II