Regression refers to a loss of previously acquired skills, such as language, motor, or life skills. Many children experience a temporary regression in skills as a result of a normal or abnormal stress. For example, a 3-year-old who has been toilet trained may experience a regression (i.e., frequent toileting accidents) after the birth of a new sibling. More strikingly, children may experience regression as a result of a trauma, such as a 5-year-old who stops speaking after being sexually abused.

Regression is quite common in children with developmental disabilities. In contrast to the aforementioned examples, children with developmental disabilities do not experience regression after an event. Instead, they experience an apparent period of normal development that is followed by a regression in skills. For example, an ...

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