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    Understanding delay in developmental disorders

    Thomas, Michael S.C. (2016) Understanding delay in developmental disorders. Child Development Perspectives 10 (2), pp. 73-80. ISSN 1750-8592.

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    Researchers in developmental disorders frequently refer to abilities that are in line with mental age as simply delayed. The qualifier simply might imply an existing theory of developmental delay that is well understood and uninteresting (perhaps because it is an exaggerated form of individual differences, the responsibility of other researchers). In this article, I argue that the notion of delay can be separated into descriptive and explanatory versions. The descriptive version is often used too coarsely to be helpful. Instead, we need an approach based on developmental trajectories to separate types of descriptive delay, which may then have different underlying causes. The explanatory version is poorly articulated in developmental theory. One useful way to deepen our understanding of delay is by building computational models that simulate development in large populations of individuals and explicitly implementing factors that cause variations in development. Finally, I suggest that dividing research among separate investigators of typical development, individual differences, and developmental disorders may be counterproductive if the underlying mechanisms recognize no such distinction.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the article, which has been published in final form at the link above. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): developmental disorders, delay, trajectories, computational modeling, intervention
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Educational Neuroscience, Centre for, Birkbeck Knowledge Lab, Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Michael Thomas
    Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2016 12:57
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:20


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