About 10% of children older than 5 years in the community can present with a mental disorder (Meltzer et al. 2000). It is well established over the past thirty years that childhood chronic disorders, such as diabetes, asthma, rheumatic disease, cystic fibrosis, and sickle cell anemia, can significantly increase the risk of mental disorders (Breslau et al. 1985; Gortmarker et al. 1990), with the emotional adjustment affected by the severity of the condition and the degree of functional limitation. Children with diseases involving Central Nervous System present the highest psychopathological risk (Weiland et al. 1992; Howe et al. 1993). When matched with disabled children with other disorders (i.e., musculo-skeletal), children with cerebral pathologies presented a two-fold higher rate of psychiatric disorders, even when IQ, social context, and physical disability were controlled for (Seidel et al. 1975).
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