I have been working with children with developmental problems for a few years. I use the term developmental problems to encompass everything from Developmental Disability to Developmental Delay and even more. Developmental Disability includes Autism, Asperger's, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and other diagnoses. Developmental Delay includes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD), Learning Disability (LD), Dyslexia, and more. Then there is Global Developmental Disorder (GDD) and Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD or APD), and I don't know where they fit in the grand scheme of diagnostic categories, but I know they are a developmental problem.

How big is the problem?

All of these developmental problems add up to about 28 million children in the USA. The Census Bureau tells us there about 85 million children in the USA. The APA (American Pediatric Association) tells us that one in every six children have a diagnosis for some developmental problem (16.7%). The different associations for all of the individual diagnostic categories of developmental problems all agree when they tell us that about half of the children with these problems obtain a diagnosis for their problem (for a total of 33.3%). And, one third of 85 million is 28 million children.

That means that one third of all the children in every classroom have some level of developmental problem. Maybe it shows up as an inability to focus, control impulses, or sit still. Maybe it shows up as an inability to learn reading, writing, or arithmetic. Maybe it shows up as a lack of coordination. Maybe it is so severe, the children never learn to speak, walk, or connect to other people or to the context. Maybe it is mild and only an annoyance to the child, parents, and teachers.

In whatever form and level of intensity, developmental problems seem to be growing in number and percentages. We are certainly getting better and more precise with our diagnoses. And, we are certainly getting so that we offer those diagnostic services to more families who otherwise could not afford it. But, I don’t think this is the reason we have a third of our children with developmental problems.

When I was a child in school, fifty years ago, I do not remember a third of the children having these types of problems. I remember that maybe 5% to 10% might have these problems, but certainly not 33%.

What is a developmental problem?

Most simply, it is some blockage or interruption in the developmental process. All living things have a life cycle. Much of the initial phases of that life cycle are spent in developing. From inception to maturity, all living things progress through a series of stages. For us humans, we refer to these as our developmental stages.

For children with developmental problems, they do not progress through their stages appropriately. They get stuck or blocked at some of the stages. They skip or miss some stages. So, many of the elementary learning processes needed for appropriate maturity, are blocked or missed. And, in some cases a child gets stuck in a stage and that does not pass out of it on to the next developmental step or task.

In my opinion, all of the different diagnostic categories are related to some simple factors. In which developmental steps did the child get stuck or which steps did the child miss? And, how intense is the ‘stuckness?’ Or, how many steps did the child skip?

What can be done about it?

All of the different diagnostic category associations in the field of developmental problems are clearly in unison when they say that the 1) developmental process is not working correctly and that 2) there is no cure.

Professionals in this field do not know what to do to solve developmental problems. Nothing that they try re-starts the developmental process. For decades professionals and researchers have tried everything they can think of to re-start the developmental process and nothing re-starts it.

So, they have finally agreed with each other that there is no cure. And, it is official. All of the diagnostic associations agree that there is no cure. They spend all of their research dollars on finding causes instead of finding cures for 28 million children.

Well, they have not tried everything

We thought there were two main questions that needed to be explored: 1) what drives the developmental process? And, 2) what causes the developmental process to be blocked? We have explored these two questions and we think we have the answers.

We think that children with developmental problems are more sensitive to factors in their environment than other children. When we measure the sensitivity of children with developmental problems, we find they have difficulty tolerating many normal, every-day factors in their environment.

We think that children with developmental problems have problems with certain brain circuits which drive the developmental process.

When we clear up their environment and re-build those brain circuits, their developmental process un-blocks and re-starts, and they proceed through their normal, natural, developmental process.

Author's Bio: 

Rodger C Bailey has degrees in Social Science/Anthropology and Educational Counseling. His international consulting program (in English and Spanish), is the only program which targets the developmental process and reliably, predictably, and consistently gets it back on track. You can read more articles on this subject on his Blog.