Children & Adolescents

Development is an ongoing task. In case of children and young people, whether the child needs assistance in navigating normal developmental challenges or is dealing with something more serious, seeking help can make life easier. Children present with robust inner worlds coloured by complex emotional experiences. They are highly perceptive to the emotional climate around them, which is dynamically evolving to shape their personalities and temperaments, thus impacting their communications with the world. While some struggles seem like normal childhood difficulties, these can sometimes turn into something more serious, causing distress to the child. Unexpected life events such as illness or disability, death and loss, disruptions in the family, transitions like moving cities or birth of a sibling, and academic and social difficulties can hugely impact the emotional well-being of children, which in turn interfere with the child’s capacity to thrive.

Childhood and adolescence provide critical periods for prevention, early detection, and intervention to promote child mental and behavioural health. Screening, assessment and intervention in these years thus become important tools for preventing concerns from escalating into illnesses.

Some examples of when Young children may benefit from an evaluation and treatment include:

  • Have frequent tantrums or are intensely irritable much of the time
  • Often talk about fears or worries
  • Complain about frequent stomach aches or headaches with no known medical cause
  • Are in constant motion and cannot sit quietly (exceptwhen they are watching videos or playing videogames)
  • Sleep too much or too little, have frequent nightmares, or seem sleepy during the day
  • Are not interested in playing with other children or have difficulty making friends
  • Struggle academically or have experienced a recent decline in grades
  • Repeat actions or check things many times out of fear that something bad may happen.
  • Emotional issues due to diagnosis of a physical or learning disability
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • ADHD
  • Eating Difficulties
  • Attachment difficulties
  • Social difficulties
  • Difficulties with separation
  • Excessive sibling rivalry
  • Adjustment difficulties in school; success in school
  • Difficulties with frustration tolerance
  • Demonstrating an inability to regulate anger and aggression

Some examples of when Older children and adolescents may benefit from an evaluation include:

  • Have lost interest in things that they used to enjoy
  • Having problems in multiple areas such as family relationships, academic performance, leisure activities and friendships
  • Have low energy
  • Sleep too much or too little, or seem sleepy throughout the day
  • Are spending more and more time alone, and avoid social activities with friends or family
  • Fear gaining weight, or diet or exercise excessively
  • Engage in self-harm behaviours (e.g., cutting or burning their skin)
  • Sexuality and gender related concerns
  • Engage in risky or destructive behaviour alone or with friends
  • Have thoughts of suicide
  • Have periods of highly elevated energy and activity, and require much less sleep than usual
  • Eating difficulties
  • Technology and social media addiction
  • Presenting with academic impairments or difficulties, leading to educational underachievement
  • Changes in temperament not otherwise explainable.
  • Emotional difficulties due to diagnosed ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder)
  • Depression and mood difficulties
  • Anxiety
  • Risky cyber behaviour such as on social media