Developmental Problems and Autism

Whether you, your child or someone you love has developmental delays or autism, Banner Health has the resources needed to excel. It’s natural to have a lot of questions. Find out more about developmental delays and behavioral problems that can affect daily activities, and learn how Banner Health can help support you and your family.

What Are Developmental Problems and Autism?

Developmental problems are delays in motor-skills, physical growth, problem solving or communication skills. Developmental delays and challenges can occur in both children and adults. Impairments are often detected in developmental stages of life for children and can affect everyday life. 

Autism is a type of developmental disability that includes problems in social interaction skills, communication skills and language.

Types of Developmental Problems and Autism

Developmental problems and autism can range in expression and severity.

The different types of developmental problems in adults and children can include:

  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Behavior disorders
  • Hearing loss
  • Learning disability
  • Spina bifida 
  • Brain injury
  • Cerebral palsy

There are also different types of autism spectrum disorders such as:

  • Autistic disorder
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • Pervasive developmental disorder

Signs and Symptoms of Developmental Problems

While developmental delays may be hard to detect, it’s important to pick up on changes in someone’s behavior, especially if your loved one has not yet been diagnosed. Some cues that may show signs of developmental problems can include:

  • Speech and language delays
  • Motor skills delays
  • Impaired social skills
  • Sensitivities to light, sound, smells or other stimuli
  • Resistance to being touched or interacting with others

Children, adolescents or adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder may show signs such as trouble with communication, trouble with social interaction, atypical moods and other challenges.

Screening and Diagnosis for Developmental Problems

The team at Banner Health will gather information during clinic visits and by talking to you, your loved one or your child. Assessments may include:

  • Autism diagnostic observations schedule
  • Social, communication and cognitive abilities
  • Executive and adaptive function abilities
  • Academic assessment

Treatment for Developmental Problems

While you cannot outgrow developmental disabilities, you can progress and reach independence goals in your journey. We are here to help find the medical care and services that address you or your child’s needs.

Treatment for Adults

When it comes to treatment options for adults, it is effective for adults to participate in therapy options, such as cognitive behavior therapy and speech therapy, to help discuss their feelings and thoughts, as well as identify connections between their emotions and behaviors. These types of therapies can help adults communicate their feelings to others. Therapy options available for adults who have developmental disabilities or problems may include:

Treatment for Children

Children may be able to help lessen their developmental problems if diagnosed early with the help of therapy, such as occupational therapy.

Banner also offers the Banner Academy program in Tempe, Arizona, a private school specifically designed to help emotionally fragile 4th through 12th graders who are diagnosed with:

  • Developmental problems
  • Learning disabilities
  • Asperger’s syndrome
  • Autism-spectrum disorders

The goal of Banner Academy is to enhance academic skills, social skills and the love of learning. Learn more about the Banner Academy.

Treatment plans for children and adults can change and evolve over time to fit individual needs. Let the team at Banner Health help find out the best options for you and your family.