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Abuse Dwarfism Syndrome

What is Abuse Dwarfism Syndrome?

Abuse Dwarfism Syndrome [also known as Kaspar Hauser Syndrome, Psychosocial Dwarfism or Psychosocial Short Stature (PSS)] is a very rare disorder caused by extreme neglect and child abuse. It’s disorder of short stature or growth failure and is observed in association with emotional deprivation, a toxic social environment, or both. A disturbed relationship between child and caregiver is usually noted.

What are the symptoms of Abuse Dwarfism Syndrome?

Common symptoms of Abuse Dwarfism Syndrome include the following:
  • Short Stature / Growth Failure
  • Delayed puberty
  • Patients are often depressed
  • Unusual eating and drinking behavior
  • Abnormal thirst / excessive hunger
  • Defiant aggressiveness
  • Sudden tantrums
  • Crying spasms
  • Eccentric sleeping and waking schedule
  • Retarded motor development
  • Retarded intellectual growth
  • Family relationships that involve cruelty and neglect

What causes Abuse Dwarfism Syndrome?

Extreme pathologic child abuse usually involving a disturbed relationship between child and caregiver.

How is Abuse Dwarfism Syndrome diagnosed?

There are 3 subtypes of Abuse Dwarfism Syndrome:
  • Type I PSS, found in infancy. Failure to thrive (FTT) is present, but no behavior is normal, but patient will usually have depression. There is no history of parental rejection in Type 1 PSS. Normal growth hormone (GH) secretion is found.
    • Type II PSS, found in patients 3 years or older. FTT is found in some of these patients and bizarre behaviors are frequent as well as depression. A history of parental rejection or pathology is present. Patients have a decrease or absence of GH.
  • Type III PSS, presents in infancy or older. FTT is not found and neither is bizarre behavior. No history of parental rejection is present. GH secretion is normal and the patent’s responsiveness to GH is significant.

What are the treatments for Abuse Dwarfism Syndrome?

A child with Abuse Dwarfism Syndrome must be removed from the toxic environment. The dangerous and nonnurturing environment must be replaced if improvement in the individual affected is to be possible. Appropriate treatment by a mental health professional may be needed and can improve the bizarre behaviors with Type II patients. Therapy may also include hormonal therapies and other medical interventions. Returning the patient to the toxic environment has been proven arrest the growth that has occurred due to intervention and replacement of the patient’s environment.

Where can I find out more about Abuse Dwarfism Syndrome?

Abuse Dwarfism Syndrome Articles