Neurodevelopmental disorders encompass a wide range of conditions that affect brain development, leading to various challenges in daily functioning. These disorders, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are characterized by difficulties in social interaction, communication, and cognitive abilities. One crucial aspect in understanding these disorders is identifying the period in an individual's lifespan when symptoms typically begin to manifest.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a diverse group of conditions characterized by some degree of difficulty with social interaction, repetitive behaviors, and limited interests or activities. While the exact cause of ASD is still unknown, studies suggest that symptoms typically emerge during early childhood, usually within the first three years of life. However, some individuals may not receive a diagnosis until later in life, especially those with high functioning autism who may exhibit fewer noticeable symptoms.
On the other hand, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by age-inappropriate levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Initially considered a childhood disorder, research indicates that ADHD persists into adulthood in approximately two-thirds of cases. Therefore, symptoms may continue throughout an individual's lifespan, albeit potentially presenting differently as they age.