Conditions treated in the Neurodisability Service

Conditions treated in the Neurodisability Service include:

  • Autism spectrum conditions - especially when there is uncertainty about the diagnosis or additional difficulties such as language disorders, behavioural and motor co-ordination problems and specific or general learning difficulties.

Autism is a disorder of development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.

The service also has expertise in the assessment of children with autistic spectrum conditions in the context of visual impairment, epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

  • Complex autistic spectrum conditions - we work closely with the Social Communication Disorders Clinic.

  • Cerebral palsy - an umbrella term describing the physical, medical and developmental difficulties (vision, cognition and communication) difficulties for an injury to the immature brain; the injury is non-progressive, but clinical difficulties may change with time.

  • Neurodisabilities relating to head injury

  • Dyspraxia and Developmental Co-ordination Disorder - a motor learning difficulty that can affect planning of movements and co-ordination as a result of brain messages not being accurately transmitted to the body.

  • Epilepsy and associated developmental problems, including difficulties with language, communication, social interaction, learning, behaviour or movement. We work closely with the paediatric neurology department and the epilepsy surgery programme.

  • Children with little or no vision and severe visual impairment. We work closely with Ophthalmology and other departments such as endocrinologymetabolic medicine and neurology when children have additional medical or neurological conditions.

  • Dysphagia – treating children most of whom have some degree of neurological impairment, resulting in severe and specific difficulties with eating and drinking.

  • Learning disability - it is estimated that around one in 220 children in the UK has some level of learning disability. A learning disability is not a disease and is not an illness, and is not acquired in adulthood or as a result of injury or disease.

A learning disability will be evident from childhood and in many cases the cause of the learning disability may not be clear. In other cases, genetics, chromosomal abnormalities or environmental factors may be the cause.

  • Movement disorders (including cerebral palsy) - where there are specific questions regarding diagnosis, prognosis and motor management. There is a particular emphasis on the management of spasticity.

  • Angelman Syndrome - is a neuro-genetic disorder characterized by intellectual and developmental delay, sleep disturbance, seizures, jerky movements (especially hand-flapping), frequent laughter or smiling, and usually a happy demeanor.

  • Metabolic disorders where there are concerns about neurological complications. These complications may range through communication and language, learning, behaviour or movement problems and educational issues. We work closely with the Metabolic Medicine Department.

  • Osteogenesis imperfecta - a condition causing extremely fragile bones.

  • Sturge-Weber syndrome and associated medical and developmental problems - Sturge-Weber syndrome is a rare disorder that is present at birth. A child with this condition will have a port-wine stain birthmark (usually on the face) and neurologic problems.