Developmental Disabilities in Adolescents

Female behavioral health counselor sits with young boy in play room

Are you considering a career as a behavioral health counselor, professional counselor or mental health counselor and do you have an interest in helping adolescents? If so, then consider earning Grand Canyon University’s Master of Science in Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders, which can prepare you for national certification and licensure as a counselor in Arizona. When providing counseling for adolescents, understanding the developmental disabilities that can affect this age group is critical. Continue reading for an introduction to common developmental disabilities in adolescents.

Intellectual Disability

Intellectual Disability is characterized by significant limitations in adaptive skills and intellectual functioning. Adolescents with intellectual disabilities may struggle in areas such as conceptual skills, home living, self-care, health and safety, communication, social skills, functional academics, and self-direction.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the brain. This damage can occur before and during birth, as well as shortly after. Cerebral palsy is a developmental disability that affects muscle coordination and body movement and it may also cause an adolescent to experience visual and hearing impairments, abnormal speech, seizures, and mental retardation.

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism impacts millions of people across lines of class, ethnicity, and race. Four out of five adolescents with this developmental disability are male. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by ongoing deficits in social interaction and communication. Also, this disorder is accompanied by repetitive, restricted patterns of activities, interests or behavior.

Attention-Deficit Disorder and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Commonly known as ADD and ADHD and referred to together as AD/HD, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a common neurobehavioral disorder that causes problems such as over-activity, inattentiveness, and impulsivity in affected adolescents. AD/HD is a lifelong disorder that can significantly impact a person’s work, school, home, and interpersonal relationships.

Grand Canyon University’s BS in addiction counseling can prepare you for a rewarding career helping individuals and families who struggle with drug dependency. You can discover more about our programs by visiting our website or clicking the Request More Information button on this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.