Neurodevelopmental Problems Treatment Cape Town

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Neurodevelopmental disorders are characterized by developmental deficits that usually show up early in a child’s development, many times before the child enters school, and can run throughout the individual’s lifetime. These brain function deficits can affect a person’s emotions, memory, ability to learn, socialize and maintain self-control. They can be limited in nature, for instance to learning, or the deficits can be global and affect intelligence or social skills overall.

While there are no known cures for neurodevelopmental disorders, medication and therapy treatments do exist that can help a child or adult.

The Category of Neurodevelopmental Disorders Includes:

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders in children and adolescents. ADHD usually becomes evident by early elementary years.

Many ADHD children grow into ADHD adults. One big problem is - most adults don't realize they have ADHD until their child is diagnosed with the disorder; then they recognize the signs and symptoms of adult ADHD in themselves.

Without treatment, ADHD can have a profoundly negative impact on both children and adults. One fourth of children with ADHD have serious learning disabilities. For ADHD adults, the disorder can affect relationships, learning, work and other aspects of life.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

The term autism spectrum disorder refers to a range of disorders classified as pervasive developmental disorders (PDD). Autism represents the core of the autism spectrum disorders, and it is characterized by "persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts".

Individuals with autism show impairment in the following:

  • Impairment in social and emotional reciprocity that ranges from abnormal social approaches and failure to participate in typical give-and-take conversations to diminished sharing of interests and emotions as well as failure to respond to social cues and interactions.
  • Impairment in use and understanding of nonverbal communications used in social interactions, such as inability to make eye contact and abnormalities in body language. These children also have difficulty understanding the use of physical gestures and often have a complete lack of facial expression.
  • Impairment in developing and maintaining social relationships

Individuals with autism also exhibit restrictive, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests and activities, including:

  • Repetitive motions or repetitive use of objects or speech
  • Inflexible insistence on sameness in routines, exhibit ritualized behavior patterns or nonverbal behavior
  • Restricted, narrow and fixated interests
  • Extreme sensitivity or insensitivity to sensory input from the environment, such as temperature, sounds, and textures
  • These represent a broad overview of autism spectrum disorder symptoms. The symptoms can range from mild to very severe on the autism spectrum. The severity dictates the type of interventions and treatments the clinician advises.

Asperger's syndrome disorder is closely related to typical autism when it comes to symptoms and probably causes. People with this type of autism, formerly called Asperger's syndrome, don't have a significant delay in language development as they do with more severe forms of autism.

Those with the condition formerly known as childhood disintegrative disorder seem to develop normally and show age-appropriate verbal and nonverbal communication skills as well as appropriate motor, social, and self-care skills. But somewhere between the ages of 2 and 10 years, people with this type of autism lose these skills almost completely in at least two developmental areas.

Children with the form of autism previously called PDD-NOS have severe and pervasive impairment in reciprocal social interaction or verbal and nonverbal communication skills and show other stereotypical behaviors associated with autism, but do not meet criteria for a specific pervasive developmental disorder.

Communication Disorders

The symptoms of Social Communication Disorder begin to show up in early childhood and can cause problems in social, academic, and occupational areas. Challenges in these areas cause anxiety and may result in isolation and exclusion from participation in social situations.

Symptoms of SCD include:

  • Problems using communication (verbal and nonverbal) in social situations
  • Challenges adapting communication style to fit the context or the style of people the person communicates with
  • Problems following social rules like taking turns during conversation
  • Difficulty understanding implied messages

Intellectual Developmental Disorder

Experts define intellectual disability as "...significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.”

What does an intellectual disability look like in children? Intellectual disabilities manifest in a variety of ways. For instance, intellectually impaired children may:

  • Sit up, crawl, or walk later
  • Talk later
  • Have trouble remembering
  • Have difficulty with social rules
  • Have difficulty understanding consequences of actions
  • Have trouble solving problems and thinking logically

Kids with intellectual disabilities may have impairments in:

  • Reasoning
  • Planning
  • Abstract thought
  • Judgment
  • Academic judgment
  • Experiential learning

Motor Disorders

The various motor disorders differ in relation to the type of tic present and the duration of symptoms. The term “tics” refers to sudden movements, twitches, or sounds that people perform repetitively. People with tic or motor disorders cannot refrain from doing these things or uttering the sounds. The seven motor disorders include:

  • Developmental Coordination Disorder
  • Stereotypic Movement Disorder
  • Tourette Syndrome (also called Tourette's disorder)
  • Persistent (chronic) vocal or motor tic disorder
  • Provisional tic disorder
  • Other Specified Tic Disorder
  • Unspecified Tic Disorder

Language Disorder

Children with language disorders may have one or more of the symptoms, depending on the severity of the issues. Those with a receptive language disorder have problems understanding the meaning of both spoken and written language and they may have:

  • Difficulty understanding what other people say
  • Problems following spoken directions
  • Problems organizing thoughts

Children with expressive language disorder have issues using spoken or written language to get others to understand what they need or want. They may:

  • Have difficulty putting their words into sentences
  • Sentences may be short, simple with incorrect word order
  • Have problems finding the right words when speaking and use placeholders like "uh" or "um"
  • Have vocabulary below his or her expected grade level
  • Leave words out when talking
  • Use certain phrases repeatedly
  • Repeat parts or all of questions
  • Use word tenses improperly
  • Due to their communication issues, children with language disorders may have problems in social situations.

Some children have problems both expressing themselves and understanding what people say to them. They have one or more symptoms of each of the main two types of language disorders. This is called a mixed receptive-expressive language disorder.