Neuro Developmental Disorders
Neurodevelopmental disorders are disabilities in the functioning of the brain that affect a child's behaviour, memory or ability to learn including, dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism.
Neurodiversity is a term that refers to the natural differences between people and was coined in the late 1990’s by Judy Singer, an Australian sociologist. It can be compared to terms such as race, culture, class and gender and is useful to describe people with varying characteristics and behaviours of neurodevelopmental conditions alongside the “neurotypical” majority in a non-prejudiced way.
This can be helpful as it’s a more positive way of thinking about these as differences rather than deficits.
Many people who are not neurotypical or neurodiverse have significant strengths and talents because of not seeing and processing the world in the same way.
Local support groups can be found by using the search term 'COVID-19' in the search box at the top of the page.
ADHD is a medical diagnosis that can only be made by a suitably qualified medical professional.
In Peterborough this is provided for the NHS by the Neurodevelopmental Service, CAMHS. Access to this service is through the Early Help pathway. The Neurodevelopmental Service provides treatment of ADHD using medication and treatment for comorbid mental health disorders in youngsters with ADHD.
People aged 18 and over would need to speak to their GP and request a referral to the Adult ADHD Team. Young people over the age of 18 will be referred by their GP to adults’ mental health services for comorbid mental health concerns.
Developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia, is a condition affecting physical co-ordination. It causes a child to perform less well than expected in daily activities for their age and appear to move clumsily.
DCD is thought to be around 3 or 4 times more common in boys than girls, and the condition sometimes runs in families.
If you're concerned about your child's health or development, talk to a GP or health visitor, or speak to a nurse, doctor or special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) at your child's school. If necessary, they can refer your child to a community paediatrician, who will assess them and try to identify any developmental problems. If you are older than 16 years talk to your GP.
Global developmental delay is a name given by doctors when a child has not reached two or more of their developmental milestones at an expected age. The term ‘delay’ is misleading as it is uncommon for children to simply ‘catch up’. Most children with GDD continue to have difficulties as they get older.
Children are often diagnosed with learning difficulties/disabilities when they start school. Please make sure you speak to the SENCO at your child’s school if you have concerns about your child’s support/ progress. If you continue to have concerns you may ask your GP for more advice.
The CAMH Neurodevelopmental Service can provide assessments of autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It also provides treatment for comorbid mental health disorders for youngsters already diagnosed with Autism, ADHD or moderate to severe Learning Disability. The service works with young people up to the age of 18, their families and professionals.
After diagnosis training is provided to parents and carers on the diagnosis given to their child. They can also provide specific interventions including medication if appropriate.
Treatment is provided to these children where there is also a mental health condition.
The service is provided by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT).
People over the age of 18 years can seek a referral from their GP to adults’ mental health services, Adult ADHD Team (for assessment) and Cambridge Lifespan Autism Spectrum Service (CLASS) (for assessment of Autism).