Week 8: 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 describes neurodevelopmental disorders such as intellectual disability and delay, autism spectrum disorder, language and speech disorders, ADHD and specific learning disorder (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
Asignment: Study Guide Forum
Abnormal brain development or damage at an early age can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders. Within this group of disorders, some are resolvable with appropriate and timely interventions, either pharmacological or nonpharmacological, while other disorders are chronic and need to be managed throughout the lifespan.
For this Assignment, you will develop a study guide for an assigned disorder and share it with your colleagues. In sum, these study guides will be a powerful tool in preparing for your certification exam.
Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
To Prepare
Your Instructor will assign you to a specific neurodevelopmental disorder from the DSM-5.
Research your assigned disorder using the Walden Library. Then, develop an organizational scheme for the important information about the disorder.
The Assignment
Create a study guide for your assigned disorder. Your study guide should be in the form of an outline with references, and you should incorporate visual elements such as concept maps, charts, diagrams, images, color coding, mnemonics, and/or flashcards. Be creative! It should not be in the format of an APA paper. Your guide should be informed by the DSM-5 but also supported by at least three other scholarly resources.
Areas of importance you should address, but are not limited to, are:
Signs and symptoms according to the DSM-5
Differential diagnoses
Development and course
Considerations related to culture, gender, age
Pharmacological treatments, including any side effects
Nonpharmacological treatments
Diagnostics and labs
Legal and ethical considerations
Pertinent patient education considerations
Medication Review
Irritability in autism Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
amphetamine IR, XR, and ER
clonidine hydrocholoride ER
Dexmethylphenidate IR and XR
guanfacine hydrocholride ER
methylphenidate hydrocholoride IR and ER, transdermal