Parents are naturally concerned about the health and welfare of their children. Many parents correctly and comfortably see their youngster as normal. However, some parents worry whether their infant, child, or teenager has a problem. These worries can include questions about:
- how the child is developing
- the emotional well-being of the child
- what the child says, thinks, and feels
- how the child acts, for example, eating and sleeping patterns, behavior at school, getting along with family and friends, or coping with stress
Child and adolescent psychiatrists and psychologists can help parents and families answer these questions about what’s normal and what’s not. They usually interview the child and ask the parents about the child's previous health and behavior. They may also ask about how the family gets along together. It is likely that infants, children, and teenagers are normal when, at the appropriate age, they fully participate in and enjoy their:
- learning, school, and/or work
- relationships within the family
- relationships with friends; and play
Where to Find Help for Your Child
Parents are often concerned about their child's emotional health or behavior but they don't know where to start to get help. The mental health system can sometimes be complicated and difficult for parents to understand. A child's emotional distress often causes disruption to both the parent's and the child's world. Parents may have difficulty being objective. They may blame themselves or worry that others such as teachers or family members will blame them.
The variety of mental health practitioners can be confusing. There are psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric social workers, psychiatric nurses, counselors,…
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist — A child and adolescent psychiatrist is a licensed physician (M.D.) who is a fully trained psychiatrist and who has two additional years of advanced training beyond general psychiatry with children, adolescents and families. Child and adolescent psychiatrists who pass the national examination administered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology become board certified in child and adolescent psychiatry. Child and adolescent psychiatrists provide medical/psychiatric evaluation and a full range of treatment interventions for emotional and behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders. As physicians, child and adolescent psychiatrists can prescribe and monitor medications.
Psychologist — Some psychologists possess a master's degree (M.S.) in psychology while others have a doctoral degree (Ph.D) in clinical, educational, counseling, developmental or research psychology. Psychologists are licensed by most states. Psychologists can also provide psychological evaluation and treatment for emotional and behavioral problems and disorders. Psychologists can also provide psychological testing and assessments.
The services available at MIND for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology are the following:
- Psychotherapy with children and adolescents which is an implementation of evidence-based treatment that aims to treat several types of disorders.
- Parental skills training and Family Therapy is offered to give parents tools and techniques for managing their child’s behavior for various types of problems including hyperactivity, impulsivity, oppositional behaviors etc...
- Cognitive testing for children and adolescents consists of various types of measurement tools that allow us to explore intelligence, achievement, attention, memory, learning styles and measure the degree of impairment before coming up with a psycho-educational plan. In parallel, liaison with school is ensured in order to help for classroom problems by suggesting some accommodations that should be implemented at school.
- Pharmacological treatment is part of the armamentarium of tools to treat children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders. Disorders such as ADHD, OCD, Tic, Mood, Anxiety and Conduct disorders may all be treated with medication in conjunction with psychological interventions. Decisions to begin medication for a child are individualized on a case by case basis after extensive discussion with the family about the pros and cons of medical treatment.
- Developmental and Diagnostic Evaluation Diagnostic Evaluation which is a comprehensive look at the presenting problems and any other related symptoms in the child or adolescent along with all the appropriate testing measurements needed.
Team members specialized in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology: