Neurodevelopmental Disorders (NDs) are commonly diagnosed during childhood, although in some cases they may not be noticed or diagnosed well into adulthood. NDs include a wide range of disabilities that may be experienced as difficulties with learning language, speech, motor skills, behavior, memory, and other neurological and brain development areas.
Studies report that approximately 15% of children (ranging ages 3 – 17) in the United States are affected by neurodevelopmental disorders, where they are more prevalent in boys than girls.
Although a wide range of disorders fall under neurodevelopmental disorders, here are some of the more common NDs we see at California Prime:
Most cases of NDs have multiple contributors, ranging from genetic and biological factors, as well as physical and environmental factors.
Genetics, specifically epigenetics, have shown to be associated with intellectual disability and other psychological disorders.
Use of tobacco, alcohol or other drugs during pregnancy have been shown to cause certain neurodevelopmental disorders. Other environment related factors such as lower social and economic status may affect diet and health during pregnancy leading to preterm births, lower birth weight, and other complications leading to neurodevelopmental disorders.
Prenatal exposure to environmental contaminants such as lead, methylmercury and other polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been shown to create neurotoxic and neurodevelopmental effects such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, deafness and blindness, and a host of other disorders.
Although there are no cures for neurodevelopmental disorders, there are medical and therapeutic techniques that are effective in controlling some of the symptoms of neurodevelopmental disorders. Preventative care with respect to environmental conditions may also reduce occurrences of neurodevelopmental disorders. Complementary and alternative options such as wellness practices may also help alleviate some of the symptoms.
For severe instances of ADHD and Autism Spectrum disorders, physicians may prescribe medication, in addition to other treatment options.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and other counseling and therapeutic variations such as speech therapy and developmental therapy have often shown significant impact on neurodevelopmental disorders.
Yoga, mindfulness practices as well as other physical and recreational exercises have been shown to have a positive impact on neurodevelopmental disorders.
Changing the environmental conditions and improving prenatal care including regular health check ups during pregnancy have been shown to help early diagnosis leading to greater chances of a healthy, full term delivery.
If you are noticing any of the symptoms and behaviors described above in your child or yourself, consult your healthcare provider to obtain a diagnosis. Although neurodevelopmental disorders are not curable we have made significant progress in helping to alleviate some of the challenges caused by them, allowing many individuals to function well within society.
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Alyssa Mueller is an Associate Clinical Social Worker. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Community Mental Health from California State University of Fullerton as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis on intercultural and interpersonal communication from California State University of Long Beach. Compassion, empowerment and unconditional positive regard are the foundations of her clinical practice, Alyssa has a passion for helping others and her priority is to hold space for clients to feel heard, to feel safe and to find fulfillment and self-love on their recovery journey. Alyssa specializes in addiction treatment, self-esteem building, mindfulness practices, grief and loss, trauma informed care, and self-compassion as well as individual and family therapy. She has extensive experience working with high risk populations in various clinical settings such as partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient care, outpatient treatment, schools, and community outreach. Alyssa uses a client centered and holistic approach to address the client as a whole person in order to help them to feel empowered and facilitate their confidence and independence.
Charee has worked in the recovery field for 10 years.Charee is dedicated to supporting and inspiring clients to live a healthy lifestyle filled with meaning and purpose.Charee has extensive clinical experience within the recovery field in both inpatient and outpatient settings.She specializes in working with individuals and families affected by the disease of addiction however she has also clinical experience in assisting individuals,couples and families in working through a variety of concerns,including: depression,anxiety,relationship & communication issues,substance abuse,grief & loss,trauma, life transitions, and many others.Charee works with each client to specialize their treatment plan with what works best for the client in a compassionate and effective way. She emphasizes the strength of every individual client and fosters an environment of personal growth and internal healing from a mind, body and spiritual approach.Charee received her Bachelor of Arts from Seton Hall University, Majoring in Psychology and Minoring in Women and Gender Studies, in addition to her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California.
I began my journey to recovery back in 2011 when I moved to California from New York.Along wiht my recovery and beginning a new way of life,I began to develop a heart for others struffling with sobriety.My journey to California was filled with many trials and lessons learned, but most of all, personal growht.I truly believe i would not have found success if I didn’t come to California.I started CPR as a way to work with people in recovery on a daily basis and it evolved into something much more beautiful. I have also come to realize that my own personal happiness and recovery depends on being involved in the lives of people in recovery. Helping others recover is a cornerstone of many 12 step programs, as it is here. Giving back to those still suffering, is the only way not to lose what you have gained. It is the paradox that we live by every day.