Neurodevelopmental difficulties are titled as such because they refer to difficulties that usually arise in the early development of a child’s life, often before school age. These can affect a child’s personal interactions with others as well as their academic performance.
Learning Difficulties / Intellectual Disabilities
We all have varying intellectual strengths and weaknesses with varying abilities to problem solve, plan, employ abstract reasoning, form judgements, and learn from experience. For children and adults, difficulties in any number of these abilities can negatively affect our ability to learn, work and function on a daily basis.
For more information on learning difficulties, follow this link.
Autism Spectrum Conditions
For information on Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) follow this link.
If you would like to discuss the possibility of assessment and treatment for neurodevelopmental conditions then do not hesitate to contact the team at Psychology Sussex to discuss how we can help you.
Developmental Coordination Disorder [DCD] (or, Dyspraxia)
Dyspraxia is a common condition affecting movement and co-ordination. Health professionals increasingly prefer the term Developmental Coordination Disorder [DCD] to dyspraxia since, technically, "dyspraxia" can also refer to movement and coordination difficulties that occur because of a head injury or stroke.
Like dyslexia, dyspraxia/DCD does not affect intelligence but it can have a negative impact on the ability to function on a day-to-day basis. Below are some of the common features of dyspraxia:
- Difficulties with coordination – e.g. problems with balance, the ability to play sports and driving are all affected;
- Difficulty with tasks requiring fine motor skills like writing or handling small objects;
- Difficulty with skills for daily living, such as dressing or preparing meals;
- Difficulties with planning, organisation and time management;
- Difficulty regulating one's emotions.
Dyspraxia/DCD in children
All children vary in the rate at which they develop and hit important developmental milestones such as crawling, walking, feeding and dressing themselves. If your child is delayed on one or more of these milestones this is not in and of itself a cause for concern. It is partly because of this variation in rates of development that dyspraxia/DCD will not normally be diagnosed until a child is aged 5 or older.
If you are concerned about your child's development then it is first worth speaking to your health visitor or GP. Though it is not yet known what specifically causes dyspraxia/DCD - partly because the complexity of coordinated movement demands a lot on our brain and nervous system – there are certain risk factors such as premature birth, low birth weight, family history of dyspraxia/DCD, the consumption of alcohol or illicit substances by the mother during pregnancy.
If you would like to discuss whether you, your child, or someone you know may be affected by a neurodevelopmental difficulty then do not hesitate to contact the team at Psychology Sussex to discuss how we can help you.