Genetic and environmental vulnerabilities in children with neurodevelopmental disorders
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
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One might expect that children with varying genetic mutations or children raised in low socioeconomic status environments would display different deficits. Although this expectation may hold for phenotypic outcomes in older children and adults, cross-syndrome comparisons in infancy reveal many common neural and sociocognitive deficits. The challenge is to track dynamic trajectories over developmental time rather than focus on end states like in adult neuropsychological studies. We contrast the developmental and adult approaches with examples from the cognitive and social domains, and we conclude that static models of adult brain lesions cannot be used to account for the dynamics of change in genetic and environmentally induced disorders in children.