My personal opinion is that neurological disorders in children would very, very, rarely bring a child to have a potential for killing, either as a child or later as an adult. If when an adult, such a person did take another person’s life, then I would suggest that it was for later personality dysfunction rather than the initial neurological disorder.
Of the well-known neurological disorders of children, I think that Foetal Alcohol Syndrome may be the only one that could, of itself, have the potential for serious criminal behaviour including murder.
The symptoms of this condition are:
• Difficulty maintaining focus (attention not visual)
• Poor judgment
• Intellectual impairment
• Delayed development related to speech, movement and social skills
• Learning disability (LD)
If a child were to have all or most of these (excluding LD), it could have the effect of bringing about personality problems.
The cause of this condition is brought about when the mother of the child consumes (usually excessive)alcohol during pregnancy. That may well suggest that the mother has personality problems as well.
ADHD is another possibility. It may well not be well known but ADHD has a similar neurological cause to that of autism. Which happens to a child depends upon the part of the brain that is damaged.
Therefore, ADHD allows a child to avoid the developmental conditions, which will affect those with autism. The problem for many children with ADHD is that there is a misunderstanding of its cause and often a failure by those who are responsible for the child’s care to deal with the problems effectively.
It is the case that many are just treated as naughty children and this could escalate into a social concern rather than a medical one and the child (maybe as a teenager) could end up in the childcare system. There the social environment is often conducive to peer pressure which can result in criminal behaviour and therefore other consequences. However, there again you will see that it is not the original condition that is the cause of this end result but the lack of appropriate medical attention and social care.
That would be my belief on the impacts of primary neurological disorders on the likelihood of those affected becoming damaged in ways that would cause behaviour of a criminal type.
It should be noted though that serotonin (a neurotransmitter in the brain that affects mood), can in some instances bring about criminal behaviour (as also can high levels of testosterone). However, these are conditions that are usually generated in adults rather than stemming from childhood conditions. They would usually be diagnosed as psychiatric conditions rather than neurological ones.
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