Every child is different, and kids naturally express themselves differently than adults, which makes recognizing behavioral and developmental issues difficult for parents. You might be concerned by what turns out to be perfectly normal behavior; or, on the other hand, you might assume that your child is simply going through a phase or reacting to a recent event, when in fact there may be an underlying issue to address. Unfortunately, leaving behavioral and developmental conditions undiagnosed can lead to a lifetime of trouble for your child.
In fact, according to the Surgeon General, a staggering 10% of children suffer from a mental or behavioral problem, but 80% of those children don’t get the help they need because their condition is left undiagnosed. Fortunately, early treatment can help your child to live a normal, happy life. We encourage parents to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of developmental and behavioral issues, so that you know when to bring your child in for an evaluation. At Wee Care Pediatrics, we provide the following:
- Learning disorder evaluation and treatment, including ADHD
- Evaluation for mood disorders, including depression and anxiety disorders
- Autism evaluation and treatment
- Developmental delay evaluation and treatment
- Treatment for common sleep problems and issues
Signs of Behavioral and Developmental Disorders
Does your child seem nervous, distressed, or generally unhappy? They might be dealing with a developmental problem. Here are some symptoms of these disorders in children, and why you shouldn’t ignore these potentially serious warning signs.
Does your child seem to have unusually strong feelings? Some parents who have children with mental illnesses report that their child is extremely happy, excessively hyper, violently angry, or deeply depressed instead of displaying normal reactions to common daily events.
Severe Mood Swings
Does it seem like your child experiences rapid mood swings? Kids with mood swings might seem completely fine one minute, and then completely upset and inconsolable the next. Mood swings can be brought on by a variety of causes, but helping your child to cope with these issues can help them to relate to their peers and handle themselves in public situations like school.
Children with developmental issues can sometimes struggle with serious behavioral problems. For example, they might not obey household rules, or might act out by throwing temper tantrums on a regular basis.
Kids with learning disorders, mood disorders, and developmental issues can have concentration problems. Concentration can be affected by conditions like ADHD as well as the intense feelings brought on by anxiety or depression.
Kids who struggle with a negative self-image, depression, or OCD may undergo weight loss. Weight loss of this kind can be especially damaging to children, because their bodies are still growing and developing.
Destructive and Self-Harming Behaviors
Although this behavior can be especially alarming, it is important to remain calm and seek an appointment with your doctor immediately. Early intervention in regards to violence or self-injury can help your child avoid serious harm.
How We Screen for Behavioral Issues
Screening for mental and behavioral disorders is done right here in our office during your normal visits, and involves a simple conversation between the doctor, the parent, and the child. During the evaluation, our pediatricians will ask your child a number of open-ended questions in a calm, kind way. Your child’s pediatrician will also discuss your child’s symptoms with you to determine the most effective treatment. Our doctors are excellent with children and sensitive to the fact that doctor’s appointments can be inherently intimidating. We will do everything in our power to create a warm, safe environment for your child and to treat their condition in the most effective manner possible.
During your child’s well visits, we will also screen carefully for the signs of developmental delays, such as language problems, dexterity issues, underdeveloped social skills, and anything unusual in their overall cognitive abilities. If any problems are discovered, we will work with you and your child to teach you techniques and coping skills that will help. We also treat common sleep issues that might be affecting your child’s ability to concentrate or react normally in social situations. Our goal is to address emotional problems and developmental delays early so that children have the opportunity to grow up happy, healthy and well-adjusted.
Make An Appointment For Your Child Today
Don’t be discouraged if you suspect that your child has a developmental issue. The pediatricians at Wee Care provide top-level care for children and families, and we will handle your child’s problem gently and compassionately. If you suspect that your child suffers with an undiagnosed issue, make an appointment for your child today. If you are a new patient, give us a call. Existing patients can make an appointment by logging into their online account. We look forward to helping you and your children!