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Understanding and Treating Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) in Children and Adolescents


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About The Course

Gain a comprehensive understanding of Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) in the pediatric population with FND expert Dr Kasia Kozlowska: study its underlying aetiological and neurobiological mechanisms, recognise early symptoms, and explore evidence-based treatment strategies focusing on individualised care plans. Acquire skills in diagnosis, management, and implementation of interventions, and gain useful tools such as the stress system model, visual metaphors, and language for communicating with children with FND and their families.

What You'll Learn

  • ​Learn about the signs and symptoms of functional neurological disorder (FND)
  • ​Explore the aetiological and neurobiological mechanisms involved in functional neurological disorder
  • ​Develop and implement treatment plans for children and adolescents with functional neurological disorder (FND)
  • Standardise patient care through the use of evidence-based interventions for FND

Course Programme

5 Units | 12 Modules | 2.5 hours total length

  • Functional somatic symptoms
  • Functional neurological symptoms
  • Neurobiology of functional neurological disorder (FND)
  • Stress System Model - Features and development
  • An explanation of how FND presents in children
  • The Importance of the Types of Language used when communicating with children with FND and their families
  • Adverse experiences and retraumatization within Medical Systems
  • Visual metaphors and color coding as a means of explaining symptoms and treatment pathways
  • Chronic Stress and its association with cortisol dysregulation and circadian rhythms
  • Treatment metaphors and how to bring about change for children with FND
  • Biopsychosocial Assessment, formulation and psychoeducation
  • Resources and Slides for Reference
  • Presentation Summary

Course Description

Understanding and Treating Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) in Children and Adolescents

Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) is hypothesised to manifest when cumulative stressors lead to either an overactivation or dysregulation of the body’s complex stress response system. This alteration in the stress mechanism can contribute to the development and presentation of FND symptoms. Neural network function is compromised, manifesting in unexplained, transient symptom clusters. It is important to understand how to diagnose and treat FND because it is a common disorder, thought to present in around 23% of new patients. (Koslowska et al., 2022)

This course delves into the multifaceted nature of Functional Neurological Disorders. Participants will explore the underlying mechanisms, diagnosis, and evidence-based treatment strategies for this complex and often misunderstood condition. Functional Neurological Disorder is characterised by unexplained physical symptoms that significantly impact function and quality of life. It is relatively common among young individuals, necessitating early recognition and intervention for improved outcomes.

The course begins by exploring the somatic and neurological symptoms of functional neurological disorder. Dr Kasia Kozlowska delves deeply into the etiological and neurobiological underpinnings of FND, elucidating its manifestation in pediatric cases and instructing attendees on effectively identifying early symptoms of FND. Participants will gain insights into the types of language used when communicating the aspects of FND to children and their families, including the prevention of adverse experiences and retraumatisation within medical systems. 

A significant portion of the course is dedicated to functional neurological disorder treatment. Participants will learn how to develop and implement comprehensive FND treatment plans and biopsychosocial assessment, formulation and psychoeducation. These plans encompass a range of evidence-based interventions, reinforcing the importance of a standardised approach in patient care.

The course is based on the latest clinical studies on functional neurological disorder, such as research on FND seizures, chronic stress, and their association with cortisol dysregulation and circadian rhythms. At the end of this course, participants will gain access to valuable resources from these studies, such as a functional neurological disorder fact sheet, the Stress System Model, and other diagnostic tools to explain symptoms and treatment pathways to patients.

By completing this course, participants will not only enhance their understanding of Functional Neurological Disorder but also be well-prepared to offer effective care and support to young individuals affected by this condition, significantly improving their quality of life and long-term outcomes.

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A comprehensive course on Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) that educates practitioners on its neurobiology, diagnosis, and treatment strategies.

Course Information

  • 2.5 hours
  • 2.5 CPD


  • 1.5 hours of video
  • 2+ articles and case studies
  • Self-assessment
  • Certificate of Completion

Material Downloads

  • certificate


Dr. Kasia Kozlowska Dr. Kasia Kozlowska Speaker | MBBS, FRANZCP, PhD

Dr. Kasia Kozlowska is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and clinician-researcher at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the Westmead Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney. With her extensive expertise and dedication to the field, Dr. Kozlowska has made significant contributions to the understanding and treatment of functional neurological disorders (FND) in children.

At The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Dr. Kozlowska leads a multidisciplinary consultation-liaison team, working collaboratively with experts from various disciplines to provide comprehensive care for children with complex medical conditions, including FND. Her research program focuses specifically on children with functional neurological disorders, aiming to bridge the gap between research findings and clinical practice. Dr. Kozlowska also directs a specialist program that offers tailored treatment for children who are disabled by functional neurological symptoms.

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