Adult Neurodevelopmental Disorders

What are Neurodevelopmental Disorders?

Understanding your neurodevelopmental disorder and how it applies to you as a unique individual can help find the right treatment plan. Dr. Diana Tyler our head Functional Neurologist at our Aura Functional Neurology Center (Aura FNC) educates on the symptoms, treatments, causes, types, that surround neurodevelopmental disorders to offer a better understanding of these conditions and how we approach our treatment programs for neurodevelopmental disorders and learning and behavioral disorders at Aura FNC.

Dr. Diana Tyler DC, DACNB

Dr. Diana Tyler DC, DACNB

Founder of Aura Functional Neurology Center. Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist with experience treating neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) at our Aura Functional Neurology Center (Aura FNC) office in Cumming, Georgia right outside of Atlanta. Graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic and Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Neurology Board.

Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) represent a group of conditions characterized by impairments in the growth and development of the brain and nervous system. These disorders typically manifest early in a child’s development and can persist throughout their lifespan. Understanding neurodevelopmental disorders requires insight into the intricate interplay of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors influencing the formation and function of the brain and nervous system.

One prominent neurodevelopmental disorder is autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a condition marked by challenges in social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors. Another significant disorder is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), which involves difficulties in maintaining attention, impulsive behavior, and hyperactivity. Intellectual disabilities, specific learning disorders, and communication disorders are additional examples of conditions falling under the neurodevelopmental umbrella. Each disorder within this category presents a unique set of challenges, necessitating tailored interventions and support.

Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Early detection and intervention can play a big role in managing neurodevelopmental disorders from infancy to adulthood. By recognizing the signs and symptoms, parents, educators, and healthcare professionals can collaborate to implement strategies that support optimal development and improve the quality of life for individuals with these conditions. Dr. Diana Tyler can provide you with more in-depth information on specific neurodevelopmental disorders and effective strategies for addressing their unique challenges.

Neurodevelopmental Disorders - Symptoms

The symptoms of neurodevelopmental disorders can vary widely depending on the specific condition. They may include challenges in social interaction, difficulties with communication, repetitive behaviors, attention deficits, hyperactivity, learning difficulties, and intellectual impairments, all of which can significantly impact an individual’s daily functioning and quality of life.

Common symptoms of neurodevelopmental disorders might include:

  • Challenges in social interaction
  • Difficulties with communication
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Attention deficits and hyperactivity
  • Learning difficulties and intellectual impairments
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Sensory sensitivities
  • Speech and language delays
  • Executive function challenges
  • Difficulty with transitions
  • Impaired social reciprocity
  • Behavioral inflexibility
  • Unusual responses to sensory stimuli
  • Delayed or atypical cognitive development

Neurodevelopmental Rehabilitation Programs

Dr. Diana Tyler offers neurodevelopmental treatment in the form of a 5-day, 10-day, or 15-day brain rehabilitation program at the Aura Functional Neurology Center office in Cumming, Georgia. These rehabilitation programs are customized to patients based on their symptoms and unique needs. Many of our patients who come for neurodevelopmental treatment at Aura FNC will travel from other cities in Georgia, fly in from other states around the U.S.A., and some will even travel internationally for our neurodevelopmental rehabilitation programs.

Dr. Diana Tyler treats neurodevelopmental disorders from a functional and neurological perspective using neuroplasticity and brain training to positively influence the complex interactions between genetics, environmental factors, and changes in brain chemistry that surround neurodevelopmental disorders. She focuses on strengthening the area of the brain dysfunction that is contributing to your neurodevelopmental disorders while also addressing the contributing structural and metabolic factors.

Neurodevelopmental treatment at Aura FNC involves a combination of lifestyle and dietary modifications, nutritional support, neurological rehabilitation, and treatment of the spine. Our approach is based on Chiropractic Functional Neurology and the latest research in clinical neuroscience.

Aura FNC, a private practice with limited capacity, accepts a restricted number of patients annually for our neurodevelopmental rehabilitation programs. This allows for personalized 1:1 sessions with Dr. Diana Tyler, offering 15, 30, or 45 hours of individual treatment across 1, 2, or 3 weeks in a private office setting.

Neurodevelopmental Disorders - Causes

Neurodevelopmental disorders encompass a range of conditions that typically manifest early in childhood and persist throughout a person’s life, impacting various aspects of cognitive, social, and motor functioning. The causes of these disorders are complex and multifactorial, often involving a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors. Genetic predispositions play a significant role, with certain genes linked to an increased susceptibility to neurodevelopmental challenges. Additionally, prenatal factors, such as exposure to certain toxins, maternal infections, or complications during pregnancy, may contribute to the development of these disorders.

Understanding the intricate interplay of these factors is crucial for both diagnosis and the development of targeted interventions to support individuals affected by neurodevelopmental disorders.

Structural Brain Changes

  • Alterations in Gray Matter Density:
    Research suggests that individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders may exhibit changes in the density of gray matter in specific brain regions, influencing cognitive and sensory processing.
  • Aberrations in White Matter Tracts:
    Disruptions in the integrity of white matter tracts, responsible for facilitating communication between different brain areas, are observed in neurodevelopmental conditions, potentially contributing to impaired connectivity.
  • Atypical Neuroanatomy:
    Neurodevelopmental disorders can be associated with atypical neuroanatomical features, affecting the size and shape of certain brain structures, which may impact functions related to learning, memory, and emotional regulation.

Functional Brain Changes

  • Altered Connectivity in Neural Networks:
    Neurodevelopmental conditions often involve changes in the connectivity of neural networks, affecting the efficient communication between brain regions responsible for various cognitive and behavioral functions.
  • Dysregulation of Neurotransmitter Systems:
    Imbalances in neurotransmitter systems, such as serotonin, dopamine, or glutamate, are commonly observed in neurodevelopmental disorders, influencing mood, attention, and social interactions.
  • Impaired Synaptic Plasticity:
    Neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to adapt and reorganize, may be compromised in individuals with neurodevelopmental challenges, impacting the brain’s capacity to learn, process information, and respond to environmental stimuli.

Neurodevelopmental disorders are characterized by complex interactions of structural and functional changes in the brain. Individuals with these conditions often exhibit alterations in gray matter density, disruptions in white matter tracts, and atypical neuroanatomy, which collectively impact cognitive and sensory processing. On a functional level, there are changes in the connectivity of neural networks, dysregulation of neurotransmitter systems, and impaired synaptic plasticity.

These nuanced modifications in both structure and function contribute to the diverse array of symptoms associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, highlighting the intricate nature of these conditions and the need for comprehensive approaches to diagnosis and intervention. Understanding the underlying causes, both structural and functional, is crucial for developing tailored strategies to support individuals affected by neurodevelopmental challenges.

Neurodevelopmental Disorders - Triggers

Identifying specific triggers for neurodevelopmental disorders can be challenging due to the multifaceted nature of these conditions. While there is ongoing research in this area, potential triggers are believed to encompass a combination of genetic, environmental, and prenatal factors. Genetic predispositions, such as mutations in certain genes, can play a role, interacting with environmental influences during critical periods of brain development.

Factors like exposure to toxins, maternal infections during pregnancy, or complications during birth may contribute to an increased risk. Additionally, early life experiences and psychosocial stressors may also influence the expression of neurodevelopmental conditions. Understanding these triggers is essential for implementing preventive measures and targeted interventions to support individuals at risk and enhance overall neurodevelopmental well-being.

  • Genetic Factors:
    Inherited genetic variations or mutations may increase susceptibility to neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Environmental Toxins:
    Exposure to harmful substances, such as lead, mercury, or pesticides, during critical stages of fetal development or early childhood.
  • Maternal Infections:
    Infections during pregnancy, like rubella or cytomegalovirus, can impact fetal brain development.
  • Birth Complications:
    Complications during childbirth, including oxygen deprivation or premature birth, may contribute to neurodevelopmental challenges.
  • Early Life Stress:
    High levels of stress or adversity during early childhood may influence the development of neurodevelopmental conditions.
  • Nutritional Deficiencies:
    Inadequate nutrition, especially during critical periods of brain growth, can affect neurodevelopment.
  • Prenatal Drug Exposure:
    Substance use during pregnancy, such as alcohol or certain medications, can impact fetal brain development.
  • Social and Environmental Factors:
    Adverse social and environmental conditions, such as poverty or trauma, may contribute to the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Parental Age:
    Advanced parental age, especially in fathers, has been associated with a higher risk of certain neurodevelopmental conditions.
  • Hormonal Imbalances:
    Disruptions in hormonal balance during critical developmental phases may influence neurodevelopmental outcomes.

Adult Neurodevelopmental Disorders We Treat


Neurodevelopmental disorders, like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), affect brain development. ADD/ADHD involves persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, impacting daily life, academics, and relationships. The causes are multifaceted—genetic, environmental, and neurological. Early identification allows targeted interventions such as rehabilitation therapies and medication, mitigating ADD/ADHD's impact, leading to an improved overall well-being and a more calm state of mind, with more ability to emotionally regulate.

Adult Learning Disabilities

Neurodevelopmental disorders, including learning disabilities, encompass a range of conditions that affect the brain's development and impact various cognitive functions. Learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), can present challenges in acquiring, processing, and applying information. These conditions are not indicative of a lack of intelligence but rather result from differences in the brain's structure or function. Individuals with learning disabilities may struggle with tasks related to reading, writing, math, or organization.

Adult Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects how the brain interprets and responds to sensory stimuli from the environment. Individuals with SPD may experience heightened sensitivity or diminished responsiveness to sensory input, such as touch, sound, taste, or smell. This can lead to challenges in regulating emotional responses and behaviors, impacting daily activities and social interactions. While SPD is often associated with neurodevelopmental disorders like autism, it can also occur independently. Recognizing and accommodating sensory processing differences are crucial steps in supporting individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders in various aspects of their daily lives.

Adult Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a specific neurodevelopmental disorder that involves a left brain deficit and primarily affects reading skills, creating challenges in recognizing, decoding, and understanding written words. It is not a result of intelligence or lack of effort but rather stems from atypical brain function. Individuals with dyslexia may struggle with phonological processing, affecting their ability to connect sounds to letters and decode written language. Despite these challenges, individuals with dyslexia often possess strengths in other areas, such as creativity and problem-solving. Early intervention strategies, including multisensory reading approaches, can significantly improve reading skills and help individuals with dyslexia navigate academic and everyday tasks more effectively.

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