What are Neurodevelopmental Disorders?


Neurodevelopmental disorders are those that affect the brain and nervous system. Some examples include attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities (previously referred to as mental retardation), conduct disorders, cerebral palsy, and vision and hearing impairments. People with neurodevelopmental disorders can have difficulties in many areas of their lives. They may have trouble with memory, language and speech, motor skills, behavior, or learning. Although some neurodevelopmental disorders may improve with age, many people will have their disorder for their entire lives. Treatment for these disorders usually include a combination of therapy, medication, and home- and school-based programs.

What are Neurodevelopmental Disorders?


Genetics play a big role in the acquiring of neurodevelopmental disorders. Some disorders, especially intellectual disabilities, are even linked to specific genes. However, most are caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychosocial factors. Genetic causes may include (but are not limited to) chromosomal deletion, or the loss of genetic material, or single-nucleotide polymorphism, where one molecule of DNA is miscopied. Environmental causes include maternal use of drugs or alcohol, childhood or prenatal exposure to harmful substances, preterm delivery, low birth-weight, and low socioeconomic status. Psychosocial causes include exposure to repeated psychological stressors like trauma and abuse.

Types of Neurodevelopmental Disorders

According to the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), neurodevelopmental disorders can be split into six categories: attention deficit disorders, developmental movement disorders, language and learning disorders, intellectual disabilities, mood and anxiety disorders, and autism spectrum disorders. Below is a list of the most common types of disorders for each category.

Attention Deficit Disorders

  • ADHD combined Type
  • ADHD Inattentive Type- or ADD

Developmental Movement Disorders

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Developmental Dyspraxia
  • Developmental Oral Apraxia

Language and Learning Disorders

  • Expressive or Receptive Language Disorders
  • Articulation Disorders
  •  Stuttering
  • Dyslexia (reading)
  • Dyscalculia (math)
  • Dysgraphia (writing)
  • Nonverbal Learning Disorder

Intellectual Disabilities

  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • Down Syndrome

Mood & Anxiety Disorders

  • Mood: Dysthymia, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder.
  • Anxiety: Phobias, Selective Mutism, Generalized Anxiety.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Asperger Syndrome
  • Autism

Finding Help at Pandora’s House Psychiatry

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder or are in need of a diagnosis, Pandora’s House Psychiatry can help. We are dedicated to serving our Collin County community with diligent psychiatric care delivered with sensitivity, understanding, and trust. At Pandora’s House, we strive to increase access to mental health care and raise awareness of the many benefits of treatment. Call us at (972) 784-3064 or visit us online today.


Information for this article comes from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), The Mayo Clinic, and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.