Developmental or Neurodevelopmental disorders (Related to the growth and development of the brain or central nervous system) are associated with the brain and neurological system and their functioning. In a nutshell, the development of the central nervous system is abnormal.

Problems Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders

A child with a neurodevelopmental disorder has problems with the acquisition, retention, and application of information or sets of information or specific skills. They may have problems with perception, memory, concentration, social interaction, impulse-control, understanding, emotional expression, problem-solving, language, and communication.

All Neurodevelopmental Disorders are not the Same

The signs and symptoms associated with these disorders often change as a child grows older. However, some childhood disabilities are permanent. Moreover, some types of disorders are mild to moderate and can be easily managed with some learning, behavioral and other interventions. Some may be more pronounced and severe and require extensive support, therapies, and treatment including medications – antipsychotic and psychotic medication; learning therapy, speech therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, stimulant, and non-stimulant monotherapy.

Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Learning difficulties and disabilities, autism, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, ADHD, mental retardation, speech impairment, hearing loss, vision impairment, cerebral palsy, and conduct disorders are some of the common neurodevelopmental disorders in children. Children with these disorders have problems with learning, memory, behaviour, motor skills, language speech, and other neurological functions. Neurodevelopmental disorders in children can be difficult to diagnose and treat.

There are many different types of neurodevelopmental disorders – and therefore, the signs and symptoms associated with a specific disorder may vary to a certain extent. The following are some of the typical signs and symptoms associated with developmental disorders in general:

  • Restlessness
  • Problems with coordination
  • Mood swings, frustration, anxiety, emotional issues, and irritability
  • Lack of facial expressions and inability to maintain eye contact
  • Inattentiveness – Failure to response
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Problems with reading and writing
  • Daydreaming
  • Difficulty understanding commands and instructions
  • Repetition of words
  • Difficulty in managing time, prioritizing tasks, focus on tasks
  • Issues pertaining to emotion, such as mood swings, an irritable temper, and an easily frustrated state of mind.
  • Rocking or flapping hands
  • Problems with coordinating movement
  • Lack of attention
  • Difficulty with maths (dyscalculia)
  • Poor memory
  • Difficulty in following directions
  • Problems remaining organized
  • Get distracted easily
  • Highly impulsive in nature
  • Trouble paying attention or listening properly
  • Problems understanding words or concepts
  • Poor hand-eye coordination


The treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders varies based on the disorder and the issues that are being managed.  It often involves a combination of professional therapy, pharmaceuticals, and home- and school-based programs.