Does my child need to meet a psychologist?

Every child is precious. Seeing a healthy, happy, and functioning child is a dream of every parent. We are not prepared to see things that can hamper their growth. Sometimes, the growth of the children may not be according to their age. That needs attention and that needs to be diagnosed. The earlier we diagnose is better for the improvement of the child. We need to understand the common symptoms or the red flags that we need to identify to confirm that there is a developmental problem.

So, if at all a child does not exhibit common emotional development like eye contact, responding to sounds, giving smiles, or understanding of nonverbal cues at the age of eighteen months that needs attention.

If the child fails to have motor development like walking, sitting, and neck stability, the child needs attention. If the child may have delays in communication like talking, creating sounds, babbling, or making no meaningful sentence, so all these things are some red flags that need to be looked into.

Children after the age of pre-primary elementary school if they are not able to recognize the alphabet, not able to write, or read that also calls for attention.

There could be children who have difficulty sitting in the classroom not able to be attentive in a group, they may not be able to follow the instructions in the class, and their behavior could be disruptive to others and disturbing others. So, these symptoms are something that is a crime for attention and that needs further interventions.

There will also be issues associated with anxiety. Anxiety may present as fear or worry, but can also make children irritable and angry. Anxiety symptoms can also include trouble sleeping, as well as physical symptoms like #fatigue, #headaches, or #stomach #aches. Some anxious children keep their worries to themselves and, thus, the symptoms can be missed.

Children with different difficulties can present differently so that requires attention and proper assessment that’s why the first consultation with the doctors is important.

During the first consultation with the doctor, the doctor will be able to tell us about what could be the provisional diagnosis and what is the next step to be followed.

How do we diagnose a child?

For further diagnosis of children with any special needs, there is a need for laboratory investigation like blood investigations which we will look into #hemoglobin, #thyroidsugar, #vitamins, #liver, and #kidney bandages and will also look into EEG which would tell us about any possibility of seizure disorders and then a general examination to find out with about the height, weight and if any other particular issue is there.

Then we have a formal and informal assessment which is basically to observe the child’s behaviour and kind of categorize the problem. The formal assessment typically it’s a paper and pencil questionnaire-based assessment where we give you a set of questions which you will have to answer and we will have an objective observation to arrive at a diagnosis.

Typically, we can finish these assessments in a day or we may require two days with multiple specialists involved. Typically, assessment is done by a speech #therapist, #remedial therapist, #behavioral therapist, #psychologist, and #psychiatrist.

Initially, after the assessment is done, we roughly get reports during which we can probably decide on the action plan. The formal report will be given after a week of conducting the assessment.

So, as a further intervention plan, there are certain criteria to be admitted into the school program. First of all, a proper understanding of the diagnosis and the very important aspect is the participation of the parent and the parent understanding that the child needs to have a minimum of six months of intervention for us to see the results and for us to make a difference.

We have various kinds of programs which are designed according to the diagnosis. We have a school program which is a school readiness program for mainstream schooling here we are seeing the child three hours a day. Every day of the week with all the therapies in-house like #behavior, #speech, and #remedial.

But if the child does not need all that therapy and if it only has a learning disability, there can be a monthly program where every day the child comes for remedial therapy and if the child has a problem in speech such children can come only for speech therapy and if there is only behavioral problem the child needs to come only for behavioral therapy.

So, we also have sensory integration therapy which is done by the special educator. In the sensory integration we try to work on the deficit area like the child will be over-sensitive to one area visually and hypo-sensitive to the motor area. So, we try to give exercises to balance the problem and to come up with solutions.

Once the child is enrolled, there will be monthly follow-up and we will give feedback every month. We will see how the progress plan is going, if you need a doctor’s consultation, it is not a part of the school program, and appointments need to be taken separately. The termination will be done on a mutual basis when the child is ready for mainstream or the intensive treatment would not be required. We could help in follow-up consultation and individual therapies as required after termination

At Mind and Brain Hospital, the team aims at helping the children with the following therapies:

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