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developmental disorder

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Any one of a group of conditions in infancy or childhood, that are characterized by delays in biologically determined psychological functions, such as language. They are more common in males than females and tend to follow a course of handicap with gradual improvement. They are classified into pervasive conditions, in which many types of development are involved (e.g. autism), and specific disorders, in which the handicap is an isolated problem (such as dyslexia).

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