Our Child Psychologist can help develop a therapy program for your child, in order to decrease certain negative behaviors as well as encourage the development of positive behaviors especially when your child is diagnosed with Autism and ADD/ADHD.
It’s a trite old cliché, but it still rings true: parenthood doesn’t come with an instruction manual. It can be difficult to navigate the myriad concerns, behaviours, needs and whims of a child, and doubly as difficult to know for certain when those behaviours become a definitive problem. When faced with the prospect of consulting a child psychologist, parents understandably often face two opposing fears – one, that they’re making too big a deal of behaviours that might correct themselves naturally; and on the other hand, that they’re not making a big enough deal of their child’s issues.
We will attempt to lay out some of the disorders that affect children, as well as some of the associated signs and symptoms to look out for. Airing on the side of caution is always recommended, as the benefits of seeing a child psychologist in the case your child has legitimate disorder far outweigh the drawbacks of seeing a psychologist if your child doesn’t have one. Use this article, then, as a jumping off point of sorts; at the end of the day, you as the caregiver will usually know best when something is unusual. Be attuned to your child’s behaviour and receptive to their concerns.
Common childhood disorders include anxiety disorders, which may be separation anxiety or PTSD in the case of a traumatic event in the child’s life; eating disorders, such as a refusal to eat, or a compulsion to eat non-food items; enuresis, or bedwetting; depression, and many more. In addition, developmental disorders like autism and ADD/ADHD are fairly common. The child will need to be evaluated by a professional and given a diagnosis, at which point a treatment plan can be made, which might include Applied Behaviour Analysis, counselling, art therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy or another form of therapy suited to the child.
It’s very important that a diagnosis go through a professional psychologist or psychiatrist. But in order to get to that point, it’s clear that you’ve noticed something is unusual. These can be very identifiable things, like bedwetting, eating non-food items, aggressiveness, lack of sleep, or expressions of either seeing or hearing things that aren’t there. In any of these cases, it is absolutely advisable that you contact a mental health professional and get their opinion of what might be the cause. Other signs and symptoms are subtler, however, as they don’t really manifest in large or demonstrated ways: social withdrawal, fearfulness, clinginess, or the lack of a contextually appropriate emotional response. These signs can be more difficult to detect, but they could still indicate an issue, and, as mentioned, it is always beneficial to air on the side of caution.
Certain disorders can be nipped in bud, dealt with early so that the child shows little or no signs of the disorder later in life. Others can be a struggle that lasts into adulthood, but can be eased and mitigated through therapy and analysis. It’s not easy gauging the severity or even presence of a disorder alone, though, which is why if any of these signs present, or if you’re simply unsure about your child’s unusual behaviour, you should see a child psychologist.