Distance Learning in Paediatric Neurology

Unit 3:Neurodevelopment & Neuropsychiatry

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Neurodevelopment, Neuropsychology and Neuropsychiatry is a new unit, combining the previous Development and Learning unit with the Psychiatry unit.  This new Unit is aimed at Paediatric Neurologists, trainees, paediatricians and community paediatricians.  



Sections (84.5 study hours).

  Study hours

1. Development of the central nervous system in infancy and childhood
Aim:  The aim of this section is to describe the normal development of the central nervous system in the infant and child, illustrated with recent techniques in neuroscience, particularly neuroimaging, which add to our understanding of critical periods of brain development, both in typical children and in children from high-risk environments. This will enable you to interpret findings in ‘normally’ developing survivors of prematurity.

You will be able to formulate a comprehensive account of the development of the central nervous system subserving function and conclude with the neural basis of intelligence.

6 hours

2. Cellular mechanisms of learning and memory
Aim: To appreciate how our knowledge of the mechanisms of learning and memory are derived from a range of experimental paradigms, particularly with animal models, and how this links to mechanisms of neurological disorder.

3 hours

3. Experience, learning and brain plasticity
Aim: By the end of this section, you should have, and be able to apply in your own clinical practice, an appreciation of the theories and observations behind the concepts of brain plasticity, critical periods, and environmental influences on brain development and on brain recovery after insult.

3 hours

4. Development assessment
Aim: To understand the principles of developmental screening, surveillance and assessment.

3 hours

5. Speech and language development
Aim: By the end of this section you will recognise the normal variation in the process and acquisition of speech and language, appreciate the underlying theories of language acquisition and the supporting evidence from brain imaging and evoked potential technologies.

3 hours

6. Speech and language impairments
Aim: By the end of this section you will understand the clinical situations in which speech and language development is impaired. You will have a diagnostic framework to employ in the clinic and will have an understanding of the underlying causes and be able to plan intervention and discuss prognosis.

3 hours

7. Developmental co-ordination disorder and dyspraxia
Aim: To recognise Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD) along with its predisposing risk factors and to summarise the clinical management of the condition.

3 hours

8. Intellectual disability

9 hours

9. Specific learning disorders
Aim: By the end of this section you will understand the principles of the mechanisms that are thought to underline dyslexia including an awareness of central auditory processing disorders. You will also recognise the breadth of other specific learning disorders with particular reference to dyscalculia and dysgraphia. You will be able to summarise the appropriate assessments for a child with a specific learning disorder and appreciate the roles and responsibilities of the child’s school and associated visiting services as well as evaluating appropriate interventions.

6 hours
10. Developmental psychology 3 hours
11. Cognitive function 6 hours
12. Neuropsychology 6 hours

13. Psychiatric classification and formulation
Aim: In this section you will look at how psychiatric conditions of childhood are currently classified, and learn how to formulate a case to make the relevant diagnosis/diagnoses

1.5 hours

14. The autistic child
Aim: In this section you will learn about the evolution of the concept of autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) over time, and how our understanding of the aetiologies and management of the ASDs has also evolved over time.

6 hours

15. The confused child
Aim: In this section you will follow 4 real case scenarios illustrating the presentation of psychosis and of acute confusion in neurological conditions. The first 2 scenarios we suggest are essential activities to complete the learning content of this section, the final 2 scenarios we suggest you study for further interest if you would like to.

6 hours

16. The overactive child
Aim: In this section we take you through the case of a child with a dual diagnosis of epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

3.5 hours

17. The sad child
Aim: We aim in this section to take you through two cases of children in epilepsy clinic with co-morbid symptoms of depression, using the cases to illustrate how to diagnose and manage such children

1.5 hours

18. Illness behaviour and somatomform disorders
Aim: In this section, we will take you through the concepts of illness behaviour and somatoform disorders. At the end of this section you will be able to recognize the importance of functional disorders in paediatric neurology practice, and the common ways in whichs they present. You will also begin to develop personal strategies to manage them.

3 hours


You can begin studying this Unit at any time and work through it at your own pace. There are no time limits to finish. If you spend about 4 hours per week on this course, you will complete it in 6 months. When you complete the unit, please send it to us and we will check that all 3 star activities have been completed and will issue a CPD certificate for the number of hours shown above.

Who is this Unit for?

The Neurodevelopment & Neuropsychiatry Unit is particularly suitable for:

  • Specialist Paediatric trainees
  • Specialist Paediatric Neurology trainees
  • Consultant Community Paediatricians
  • Consultant Paediatricians
  • Consultant Paediatric Neurologists to update themselves as part of their continuing professional development


We will provide all the papers required to complete this Unit. 

What did students say are the best things about the Development & Learning unit?

  • “Fitts law - unbelievable!” (UK)
  • “To learn more about specific language impairments and learning disorders” (UK)
  • “Speech and language impairments” (Georgia)
  • “The basic science with respect to the development was fascinating” (UK)
  • “Articles” (Saudi Arabia)
  • “Multi-disciplinary approach to development/developmental disorders” (The Netherlands)
  • “Speech and language impairments” (Georgia)
  • “Specific learning disorders” (Qatar)


Fees must be paid at the time of registering. You can register online and pay your fee by credit/debit card or request an invoice be sent to your place of work (you will need a purchase order number from your hospital for this option). The cost of this Unit depends on the country in which you are working.  

  • High income countries = £436
  • Rest of the world = £144


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