Conditions & Treatments

ADHD

ADHD, also called attention-deficit disorder, is a behavior disorder, usually first diagnosed in childhood, that is characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and, in some cases, hyperactivity. These symptoms usually occur together; however, one may occur without the other(s).

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Brain tumors

Brain tumors are classified depending on the exact site of the tumor, the type of tissue involved, and whether or not it is cancerous. Brain tumors can directly destroy brain cells. They may also indirectly damage cells by pushing on other parts of the brain. This leads to swelling and increased pressure within the skull.

Tumors may occur at any age, but many specific tumors are more common at a certain age. However, most brain tumors are rare in the first year of life. Some of the most common childhood brain tumors include:

  • Astrocytoma: usually noncancerous, slow-growing cysts. They most commonly develop in children ages 5 - 8
  • Brain stem glioma: occur almost only in children. The average age of development is about 6 years old. The tumor may grow very large before triggering symptoms
  • Ependymoma: make up about 8 - 10% of pediatric brain tumors. The tumors are located in tiny passageways (ventricles) in the brain, and block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
  • Medulloblastomas: the most common type of childhood brain cancer. They occur more often in boys than girls, usually around age 5. Most medulloblastomas occur before the age of 10.

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Cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect a person's ability to move and to maintain balance and posture. The disorders appear in the first few years of life. Usually they do not get worse over time. People with cerebral palsy may have difficulty walking. They may also have trouble with tasks such as writing or using scissors. Some have other medical conditions, including seizure disorders or mental impairment.

Cerebral palsy happens when the areas of the brain that control movement and posture do not develop correctly or get damaged. Early signs of cerebral palsy usually appear before 3 years of age. Babies with cerebral palsy are often slow to roll over, sit, crawl, smile or walk. Some babies are born with cerebral palsy; others get it after they are born.

There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but treatment can improve the lives of those who have it. Treatment includes medicines, braces, and physical, occupational and speech therapy.

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Developmental delay

Children grow, develop, and learn throughout their lives from birth and infancy to adulthood. A child’s development can be measured through social, physical, and cognitive developmental milestones. If children fail to develop properly they may be unable to reach their full potential. However, healthcare professionals and parents can work together as partners to help children grow up healthy and strong.

Why be concerned if a baby shows signs of developmental delay? Won’t she just grow out of it?
Developmental delays can have future negative effects on your child, which may lead to speech and language difficulties, behavioral problems and learning problems.

How can I prevent developmental delay in my baby?
There isn’t one “right way” to prevent developmental delay. Consult a pediatrician for specific activities for your child. Some activities such as singing and reading to your child help to stimulate cognition and recognition of a mother’s voice by her child.

What is early childhood intervention?

The intent of early child intervention is to lay a foundation, in conjunction with the family, to support infants as they grow and mature into healthy individuals. Healthy means the best possible outcome the physical, mental, and social functioning and well-being of an individual.

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Headache

Headaches are common in children. Nearly 2 out of 3 children will have a headache by age 15. Headaches that begin early in life can develop into migraines as the child grows older. Migraines in children or adolescents can develop into tension-type headaches at any time. In contrast to adults with migraine, young children often feel migraine pain on both sides of the head and have headaches that usually last less than 2 hours. Children may look pale and appear restless or irritable before and during an attack. Other children may become nauseous, lose their appetite, or feel pain elsewhere in the body during the headache.

Headaches in children can be caused by a number of triggers, including emotional problems such as tension between family members, stress from school activities, weather changes, irregular eating and sleep, dehydration, and certain foods and drinks. Of special concern among children are headaches that occur after head injury or those accompanied by rash, fever, or sleepiness.

It may be difficult to identify the type of headache because children often have problems describing where it hurts, how often the headaches occur, and how long they last. Asking a child with a headache to draw a picture of where the pain is and how it feels can make it easier for the doctor to determine the proper treatment.

Migraine in particular is often misdiagnosed in children. Parents and caretakers sometimes have to be detectives to help determine that a child has migraine. Clues to watch for include sensitivity to light and noise, which may be suspected when a child refuses to watch television or use the computer, or when the child stops playing to lie down in a dark room. Observe whether or not a child is able to eat during a headache. Very young children may seem cranky or irritable and complain of abdominal pain (abdominal migraine).

Headache treatment in children and teens usually includes rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain relief medicines. Always consult with a physician before giving headache medicines to a child. Most tension-type headaches in children can be treated with over-the-counter medicines that are marked for children with usage guidelines based on the child's age and weight. Headaches in some children may also be treated effectively using relaxation/behavioral therapy. Children with cluster headache may be treated with oxygen therapy early in the initial phase of the attacks.

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Movement disorders

Movement disorders affect a speed, fluency, quality and ease of movement. They include:

  • Ataxia (lack of coordination, often producing jerky movements)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Choreoasthetosis
  • Dystonia (causes involuntary movement and prolonged muscle contraction)
  • Encephalopathies
  • Essential tremor
  • Huntington's disease (chronic progressive chorea)
  • Inherited ataxias (Friedreich's ataxia, Machado-Joseph disease, and spinocerebellar ataxias)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinsonism and juvenile Parkinson's disease
  • Poisoning by carbon monoxide, cyanide, methanol, or manganese
  • Psychogenic disorders
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Spasticity
  • Stroke
  • Tics (involuntary muscle contractions)
  • Tourette syndrome and other tic disorders
  • Tremor
  • Wilson disease
     

Seizure disorders

Seizures are symptoms of a brain problem. They happen because of sudden, abnormal electrical activity in the brain.: Learn more

Sleep disorders

Sleep disorders affect children from babies to teens. Learn more