Autism

1.Just had a quick question if you could help that would be appreciated. In MRCPsych CASC stations like ADHD, Autism and Asperger’s syndrome, how would you explain a ‘neuro-developmental’ disorder in simple terms? A disorder related to the way in which the brain develops and has an impact on their behaviour/way in which they perceive things and environment around them??

Yes, you are absolutely correct to firstly keep it simple.

If I was explaining it to a relative/patient I would say something like:

“A neurodevelopmental disorder occurs when there is a problem in the actual growth of the brain and with the nerves which are linked to it. Understandably, this can lead to a person commonly having difficulties with their own emotions, speech, learning and memory as they continue to grow older.”

“Does that make sense?” (Always remember to check understanding).

If you can, do ensure to include examples from the case you are dealing with to make it easier for them to understand e.g …”so in your son’s case you told me that he had developed difficulty with his controlling his emotions .” – to make it easier for the patient/relative to understand and also to demonstrate to an examiner that you can synthesise and deliver relevant information you may have gathered previously.

Additionally if you are asked about causes..

“From what we currently know, there are a number different types of this disorder each with different causes. e.g In your son’s case of Autism/ADHD, our understanding is that this may have been down to…..” then cite what is relevant depending on their condition.