What are Some of the Signs and Causes of Cognitive Impairment?
In its most basic form and definition, cognitive impairment in a child most frequently occurs when the brain has been damaged, such as with a severe head injury, or when there is something that prevents the brain from developing normally. This can occur during pregnancy, and can also happen as the child is growing up. There are four primary categories that can lead to cognitive impairment in a child, wich are:
1. Problems During Pregnancy
This can occur when the baby does not develop properly during the pregnancy. Although it can happen at any time during the pregnancy, studies indicate that this most likely occurs during the third trimester. There are various things that can cause this. One is a particularly bad infection that the mother contracts during the pregnancy, which of course can have these adverse effects on the unborn child. This can also happen if the mother, during pregnancy, drinks alcohol (and not necessarily in excess) or takes particular prescription (or even illegal) drugs, which can harm the unborn child, sometimes with the end result being a child with cognitive impairment disorder.
2. Problems During The Birth
An example of this is when the baby does not get enough oxygen during the birth process, which can cause cognitive impairment. With the high-tech and watchful nature of the vast majority of hospitals and clinics these days, this occurance is not nearly as frequent as it was in days past, but it can still happen.
3. Inherited From The Parents
Yes, while it is unfortunate, it is still possible that the genes of the mother and father would combine in such a way that the child would be born with cognitive impairment, even if neither the mother nor the father are themselves cognitively impaired.
4. Health Problems or Accidents
Children diseases such as measles or miningitis, if severe enough, can also lead to a child developing cognitive impairment. This is an excellent reason that a child who is diagnosed with these diseases be taken care of properly to lessen the severity of the disease as much as possible. An accident such as a car crash, near drowning, or a similar type of brain injury or severe head injury can also be a reason for the formation of cognitive impairment in a child.
So how can you determine if your child has cognitive impairment?
There are various signs and symptoms that a child may show if they are suffering from cognitive impairment. Although I would caution you to not become unnecessarily alarmed if you see one of these signs once in a great while, seeing a particular sign or symptom repeated may be a cause to take your child for a checkup or perhaps a thorough diagnostic test with a child psychologist Orange County licensed specialist. Some of the more common signs or symptoms would include:
1. Your child may prefer to communicate with you in non-verbal ways; not just by talking, but instead via the use of signs or touching instead.
2. The child will be slower at doing some things compared to other children of their age group, such as sitting up, crawling and walking.
3. The child will have problems when trying to feed and/or wash themselves.
4. The child may find it hard to remember things or solve relatively simple problems.
5. They child may have problems making friends or dealing with their peers; i.e., children their own age.
Often, seeing an Orange County therapist who specializes in Cognitive Impairment may be helpful.