Module: Introduction to Developmental Disorders

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Introduction to Developmental Disorders 


This module on the BSc (Hons) Psychology with Developmental Disorders degree aims to provide students with an introduction to developmental disorders as experienced across the lifespan. Developmental disorders (sometimes referred to as: Specific Learning Difficulties; Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Neurodiversity) is an umbrella term used to cover a range of conditions, such as:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC)
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)/Dyspraxia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dyslexia
  • Specific Language Impairment (SLI)

Students are encouraged to consider the characteristics that represent these disorders recognising that each individual’s strengths and difficulties will present differently and may alter when presented with certain tasks or in different environments. In doing so students will be guided to consider the theories and evidence that helps to explain their presentation.

As part of the module students complete a 20-hour placement in a setting that supports individuals with developmental disorders, such as Action for Children or Disability Sport Wales.

Key Learning

The key learning that students will gain from this module is an appreciation of the overlapping nature of development disorders and characteristics that span all developmental disorders, such as difficulties with executive functioning (the management or regulation of cognitive processes including working memory, reasoning, task flexibility, and problem solving as well as planning and execution).

In addition, students will gain an understanding of the functional impact of living with a developmental disorder across contexts and an understanding of some of the secondary consequences associated with developmental disorders such as anxiety.

Module Assessment

There are eight assignments associated with this module, which include a poster presentation, a reflection on an autobiographical account of an individual living with a developmental disorder(s) and a blog where students are encouraged to challenge some of the popular media stories that are written about developmental disorders.

Unique Element 

As well as being one of the few Universities in the UK that offer a minor that covers a range of developmental disorders, the 20 hours of placement provide students with a unique opportunity to reflect on what they have learnt.