Neurodevelopmental Disorders

I can’t believe I am sitting here talking to this lady. Mom thinks I am nuts just because I will not do what she asks. She doesn’t care about me. She only cares about my little brother and that man that keeps coming around. I don’t care about her. That is why I throw things and won’t do what she asks. I don’t care about anyone. Those kids at school who used to be my friends don’t know anything. I am so much smarter than they are.
—Jacob, age 11
There are many mental disorders that occur early in the life course. The 
DSM-5-TR described neurodevelopmental disorders such as intellectual disability and delay, autism spectrum disorder, language, speech and communication disorders, ADHD, motor disorders, developmental coordination disorder, stereotypic movement disorder, tic disorder, and specific learning disorders (e.g., dyslexia, difficulty mastering mathematical reasoning) . Diagnosis of these various conditions can rarely be made in a single office visit and often requires a comprehensive approach involving multiple stakeholders, including the child, his or her parents, teachers, other significant figures in the child’s life, and medical and mental health professionals, such as psychologists who can conduct comprehensive neuropsychological testing.

The PMHNP must coordinate and integrate several sources of information to arrive at an accurate diagnosis of these disorders. Early and accurate diagnosis is essential to developing an effective treatment plan, which will have the potential to minimize the impact of these disorders on the child’s developmental trajectory. When one considers appropriate diagnosis from this perspective, the importance of diagnostic accuracy becomes quite apparent.
This week, you begin exploring disorders that occur early in the life course and use this knowledge to create a study guide for a neurodevelopmental disorder. 

Learning Objectives

Students will:

· Analyze signs and symptoms of neurodevelopmental disorders
· Analyze the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental disorders
· Analyze diagnosis and treatment methods for neurodevelopmental disorders
· Summarize legal, ethical, and patient education factors related to neurodevelopmental disorders

Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)

Thapar, A., Pine, D. S., Leckman, J. F., Scott, S., Snowling, M. J., & Taylor, E. A. (2015). 
Rutter’s child and adolescent psychiatry (6th ed.). Wiley Blackwell.

· Chapter 51, “Autism Spectrum Disorder”
· Chapter 55, “ADHD and Hyperkinetic Disorder”

Zakhari, R. (2020).
The psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner c

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