Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Neurodevelopmental disorders are based on a neurological cause. These are mainly associated with the abnormal functioning of the brain and nervous system. The effects of neurodevelopmental disorders have the tendency to last for a person’s lifetime. In other words, these are the deficiencies of the growth and development of the nervous system and the brain that affects emotion, learning abilities, self-control and memory.

Neurodevelopmental disorders in children and adolescents can include

Impaired motor
Non‑verbal communication
Sensory functions

The most leading neurodevelopmental disorders are

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Intellectual disability (ID)

The symptoms and behaviors of neurodevelopmental disabilities change or develop as a child grows older, some disabilities are everlasting. Children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders are at increased risk of later depression. Diagnosis and treatment of these disorders can be challenging but treatment often includes a combination of pharmaceuticals, professional therapy, and home- and school-based programs.

Many children with ADHD have a mix of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity behaviors, while some may exhibit mainly hyperactive behavior traits, and others show mostly inattentive traits. It is possible for an individual’s prime symptoms of ADHD to change over time. Children and adolescents with ADHD frequently have other disorders, with parents reporting that about half of children with ADHD have a learning disability and about one in four have a conduct disorder. Other disorders, including anxiety disorders, depression, and learning disabilities, can be expressed with signs and symptoms that similar to those of ADHD.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities defined by significant social, communication, and behavioral deficiencies. Children and adolescents with ASDs can show lack of interest in other people, have difficulty showing or talking about moods and feelings, and avoid or resist physical interaction. A range of communication problems with ASDs are that some speak very well, while some do not speak at all.

Children and Adolescents with an Intellectual Disability have an IQ less than 70 and deficiencies in life skills such as communication, self-care, family, and social or interpersonal skills. Different severity classifications, ranging from mild to severe retardation, are defined on the basis of IQ scores. Some causes of intellectual disability, including genetic disorders, traumatic injuries, and prenatal events such as maternal exposure to alcohol. Though, the causes of intellectual disability are unidentified in 30–50% of all cases.

Genetics can play an important role in various neurodevelopmental disorders, and some cases of certain conditions such as intellectual disability are linked with specific genes. These disorders can also be a result from a combination of genetic, biological, psychosocial and ecological risk factors. A wide range of ecological risk factors may affect neurodevelopment, including maternal use of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs during pregnancy; lower socioeconomic status, low birth weight; the physical environment; and prenatal or childhood exposure to certain environmental pollutants.

Highlights of Workshop