Developmental disorders is a group of neuropsychiatric conditions originating in childhood that involve serious impairment in different areas of everyday function. There are several ways of using this term. The most narrow concept is used in the category “Specific Disorders of Psychological Development” in the International Classification of Diseases. These disorders comprise language disorders, learning disorders, motor disorders and autism spectrum disorders. In broader definitions ADD/ADHD & disorders of executive function are included. Developmental disorders are present from early life and are sometimes prodromal to classical Psychiatric illness like depression, anxiety, psychosis, or dementia.
When children suffer with learning troubles, or when they experience “learning” as an uncomfortable experience they will likely develop maladjustment which can seem like a gross deficiency of relatedness. Learning can extend from the chores of self-car toward the realm of self-regulation & self-discipline, and of course can occur in the “academic realm”. Helping children with developmental disorders almost always includes some habilitation of the ability to play/interact with others.
Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. (this quote is often attributed to Fred Rogers)