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Dec 14th, 2015
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Atypical Development

Based on your research for your selected issue from this unit’s Reading, please discuss one type of atypical development in childhood. What is the impact of this issue on the child’s development? Discuss what the most effective treatment(s) for this issue might be, and address how culture may affect the disorder and/or the treatment of the disorder. When discussing how culture may affect the disorder, identify at least one aspect of culture, such as race, religion, or ethnicity.


Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder that is defined by extreme restriction of caloric intake some individuals will stop taking in nutrients completely.  They are extremely focused on their appearance and weight.  When a child or adolescent is struggling with an eating disorder, the impact can be great in several areas of development.  Physically the person could stunt growth and development of their body structure. The bones will not be able to grow and develop appropriately without adequate nutrition. The brain could become damaged due to lack of nutrition, the heart can suffer structural damage as well as functioning damage.  Emotionally, the person may start to struggle with depression and body image that is distorted.  This can cause the person to not mature and complete developmental milestones to move into another stage of emotional growth. 

Effective treatment in this disorder varies due to the various stages a person may be in with the disease. Because this disease has such a profound impact on the physical body, a complete medical exam and possible hospitalization is one way to treat a patient.  However, it is not the only form of treatment and usually several types of treatment are used in combination. Psychotherapy is one form of treatment that is used to treat the disease.  Group and family therapy have also been used to combat the disease. Medications can also be used to fight the disease.  Anti-depressants are commonly used and anti-psychotics have also been prescribed to combat anxiety and obsessive compulsions.

Historically, anorexia has been rare outside of the United States, but that seems to be changing. “Cultural beliefs that may have protected ethnic groups against eating disorders may be eroding as adolescents acculturate to mainstream American culture (Pumariega, 1986).” – ( As the world becomes more and more connected, the western culture that seems to define beauty is infiltrating other cultures and proving to grip on different classes, ethnicities and religious beliefs causing eating disorders where they have been historically rare.

Bukatko, D. (2008). Child and adolescent development. A chronological approach. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin


Professor Eastwood and fellow classmates,

  For this one of the final discussion board post I choose to work with a topic I know all too well; Bipolar disorder.

  My oldest son who is now sixteen was found to have Bipolar disorder rapid cycle two at the age of five. Bipolar disorder is not just something that teenagers or even adults deal with this is a mood disorder describe by the DSM as a brain disorder that causes changes in a person's mood, energy, and ability to function in everyday life. This disorder includes bipolar 1, bipolar 2, and cyclothymic disorder (Ranna Parekh, 2015).

  The impact of bipolar disorder on a child's development include severe and recurring depression that may include sadness, loneliness, lack of interest in everyday things. Craving of certain objects or foods. Sleep issues were child sleeps to much or not at all. Lack of social interaction in an appropriate way (Martha Hellander (J.D.), Sheila McDonald (J.D.), Lisa Pedersen (M.A.), and Susan Resko (M.M.), 2014).

  For children dealing with bipolar disorder the most effective treatments may include but are not limited to finding what is called the "baseline" assessment that is conducted by the child's doctor or other mental health professions. This information helps to determine the child's physical and mental health; with regular fallow ups with doctors. Medications and daily logs of the symptoms helps to track the condition and what does or does not help (Health, 2015).

  The social and cultural affects the disorder or the treatment of the disorder can not only have a lasting effect on the child but the families of the child as well. Mental health is a issue that is not easily understood or accepted. In several cultures such as Japan the thought of any type of mental health issue is unacceptable and many deny having the issue at all (Rashmi Nemade, PH.D., Natalie Staats Reiss, PH.D., & Mark Dombeck, PH.D., 2007). Depending on the cultural difference of focusing on oneself and that place within the social standing may be linked to the prevalence of a disorder (Rashmi Nemade, PH.D., Natalie Staats Reiss, PH.D., & Mark Dombeck, PH.D., 2007).

  The cultural role of gender also can have an effect on the treatment and the ability for a child or person to cope with bipolar disorder. For example a male child may find that their outburst of rage and violence is not frowned on but a female that exhibits the same behaviors may be found to be out of control. The same could be said for a female that cries uncontrollably due to a bipolar cycle is just being a female but a male is looked as being over sensitive about the situation.

  This is the world my own son lives in everyday and has to deal with the looks and whispers of how different he is. This disorder has prevented him from doing things that many children his own age do not think twice about. Where they get to stay over with friends he has to go to the hospital because a medication no longer works.

  The classmates he has have started to learn to drive, he is learning how to order medication and make appointments. This condition has taken over his life and the lives of our whole family. He nor I know what one day will bring over the next.

  But with proper medication, help from the doctors, and others he is able to manage his condition and work on having a "normal" life.



Health, N. I. (2015). Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents. Retrieved from National Institutes of Health:

Martha Hellander (J.D.), Sheila McDonald (J.D.), Lisa Pedersen (M.A.), and Susan Resko (M.M.). (2014, June 4). About Pediatric Bipolar Disorder. Retrieved from The Balanced Mind Parent Network :

Ranna Parekh, M. M. (2015, July). Biploar Disorders . Retrieved from American Psychiatric Association :

Rashmi Nemade, PH.D., Natalie Staats Reiss, PH.D., & Mark Dombeck, PH.D. (2007, September 19). Mental Retrieved from Sociology Of Depression - Effects Of Culture:

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