Neurodevelopmental disorders are brain disorders that begin in early development (before birth or during childhood) and remain relatively stable over time. The most common disorders include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), intellectual disability, and learning disabilities.
Overview and Symptoms
Neurodevelopmental disorders first show signs during early childhood and typically interfere with performance in school and other settings. ADHD causes difficulties in concentration, organization and sustained attention, as well as motor restlessness. Intellectual disabilities involve below-normal intellectual capacity which significantly interferes with functional independence. Learning disabilities include deficits in very specific cognitive abilities, such as reading or math. These disabilities can persist into adulthood.
Evaluation is important to diagnose and treat neurodevelopmental disorders. Comprehensive neuropsychological assessment can be helpful in clarifying the nature and extent of a learning disability, ADHD, or intellectual disability, and identifying effective strategies and accommodations.
Treatment of ADHD may include medications and behavioral interventions. Intellectual disabilities often require community supports in adulthood. Treatments for learning disabilities often include intensive academic support and therapies in a school setting.