What are the Early Signs of a Neuropsychological Disorder

What are the Early Signs of a Neuropsychological Disorder

While these indications are not diagnostic by themselves, a child exhibiting even a few of these characteristics may need to be seen by a specialist. If you are in doubt at all, the chances are that your child needs an assessment.


  • Tearful, weepy, sad.
  • Excessive fears for his/her age.
  • Worry a lot: About the past, future, competence, approval, family finances.
  • Excessive worry in terms of intensity, frequency, and duration.
  • Plummeting self-esteem i.e. ‘I hate myself.’ ‘I’m so stupid.’
  • Unusual sensitivity towards pets and animals.
  • Low energy. Persistent boredom. Social isolation.
  • Loss of interest or enjoyment in favourite activities.
  • Excessively sensitive towards loss (family pet, death of a grand parent).
  • Anger out of proportion with the circumstances.


  • Bouts of Rage
  • ‘It’s your fault’. It’s always the other kid’s fault, or the teacher or you.
  • Self-righteous (can never see the other person’s point of view). He/she is always right and everyone else is always wrong.
  • Rigid and inflexible (an attempt to gain control and freeze things in the present moment).
  • An attraction towards power in the physical world: i.e. fire, guns, knives, chemistry, electronics, war etc.
  • Living with a time bomb, walking on eggshells, very irritable.
  • Talk of running away from home or attempts to do so.
  • Perfectionist, obsessive drive to be the best.
  • Extreme difficulty losing a game. Extreme sensitivity to failure.
  • Frequent erasing of written work.
  • Fussy re: socks and/or underwear.
  • Sensitive to noise, light, taste of food, and smells, less sensitive to cold and pain.
  • Does not want to go to school. Refuses to go to school.
  • Difficulty with transitions or change.
  • Rituals –often preceding a transition, it makes them feel safe.
  • Frequent physical complaints: –headache, stomachache, aches and pains.
  • Victim/bully issues.
  • Eating/sleeping problems. Difficulty getting to sleep/staying asleep/waking too early. Excessive late night TV.
  • Blurts out in class.

Academic Functioning

  • Learning Disability or gifted.
  • Inability to concentrate leading to poor performance in school and frequent absences.
  • Drop in school grades of 10 – 20 %.
  • Extreme difficulty with homework.
  • Difficulty with multi-step requests or tasks.
  • Lack of motivation with school work, but very good at computers or electronics.

Reviewed by M. Kodsi, M.D., Child and Family Psychiatrist.

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