Neurodevelopmental disorders commonly result from issues of the central nervous system and can affect both children and adults (if undiagnosed). As a result children will often experience problems with language and non-verbal communication, motor co-ordination, working memory, self-regulation of emotions and managing behaviour as a result.
These types of disorders include:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Intellectual development disorders
- Learning disorders
- Motor disorders
- Communication disorders
While some of these issues can be permanent and present lifelong challenges, many problems and their effects can be minimised with the right combination of pharmacological and home/school-based training and rehabilitation programmes.
You may have heard of the term ‘brain plasticity’; the ability to modify neural pathways in the brain to shape physical and mental development through environmental experience. In simple terms, this means our brain has an incredible ability to make new connections throughout life and to learn/improve the skills we rely on both as children and adults.
This plasticity is especially heightened in childhood and so early intervention in a tailored and family-centred way is crucial to significant improvement.
To find out more about how our brains can change and develop as both children and adults, and how brain plasticity works in reality, try one of these TED talks:
One of the most well known, evidence-based, brain training programmes is Cogmed Working Memory Training - it helps children with attention deficit issues focus and perform better at school, from both an academic and social perspective.