Neurodevelopmental Disorders are a group of conditions that can cause physical, learning, language, or behavioral impairments that can impact daily functioning.
They are known as “developmental” disorders because they generally start during the developmental period of childhood and last throughout an individual’s lifetime. Some of these disorders actually start to develop before a baby is born, however some start after birth due to injury, infection, or other environmental factors.
Childhood neurodevelopment disorders include:
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Lack of social skills, difficulties with speech and communication, and repetitive behaviors are signs that a child may have autism spectrum disorder. ASD includesconditions previously called Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), Rett’s Disorder, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder which have now been incorporated into autism spectrum disorder.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): ADHD is among the most common childhood disorders. Symptoms include lack of focus, restlessness/ hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.
Cognitive Disorders: Cognitive disorders are conditions that impair thinking and reasoning abilities.
Language/ Communication Disorders: Impairments in ability to understand and/or communicate using language.
Learning Disorders: A child with a learning disorder is often of average or above average intelligence, but they have trouble understanding specific types of information and usually require special help in school.
Tourette Syndrome: Tourette’s Syndrome is an inherited condition that involves motor and vocal tics – random sounds, words, movements or phrases.
Other Motor Disorders: Besides Tourette syndrome, motor disorders include developmental coordination disorder, stereotypical movement disorder, and other tic disorders.
Frequently Asked Questions:
There are various symptoms associated with the different neurodevelopmental disorders. Most neurodevelopmental disorders can first be noticed when a child is not meeting developmental milestones. Although all children develop at their own pace, developmental milestones are intended to give a general idea of where your child should be in terms of their development.
Your child’s pediatrician may also notice developmental delays during your child’s developmental monitoring appointments. In the case where your child is not meeting the developmental milestones for their age, this may be a warning sign to discuss your concerns with your child’s pediatrician.
If you are concerned about neurodevelopmental disorders in your loved one, schedule a consultation with our psychiatric physicians at Florida Family Psychiatry today.
There is no single test to diagnose neurodevelopmental disorders. Instead, neurodevelopmental disorders are diagnosed after a physical exam, discussion of your child’s medical history, a review of symptoms, and ruling out other conditions that cause similar physical symptoms. You will likely be asked to fill out a self-assessment and/or answer specific questions so that your physician can give your child an accurate diagnosis. In some cases, additional evaluations and/or interviews may be required to obtain a diagnosis including formal psychological testing.
The exact treatment approach will vary depending on the diagnosis. In most cases, a variety of therapies are recommended to improve an individual’s ability to function, manage their emotions, and/or develop certain skills. However, it is important to note that your child’s treatment plan will depend on the type and severity of symptoms they are struggling with. Medications are indicated for managing symptoms in manyneurodevelopmental disorders.
Guides for Parents
Florida-Specific Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Materials:
Florida’s Bureau of Exceptional Student Education a supports school districts and others in their efforts to provide exceptional student education programs for students ages 3 – 21 who have disabilities and students who are gifted.
Some of the contents of this Florida Family Psychiatry (FFP) webpage were sourced from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, the National Institute of Mental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and their affiliates. The content on this page should be used for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. FFP has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the content on this website. However, the information is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind.
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