Children’s problems are often ignored or misinterpreted. The symptoms of children’s problems are largely unknown by parents. They often rely on sources of information that may not provide them with genuine information. Wrong approaches to children’s problems can delay diagnosis and proper treatment of the child’s problem. Psychoeducation provides parents with information regarding the child’s problem. It includes a discussion about the symptoms, causes and treatment procedures. It empowers the family members so that they can deal with the children’s problems in the proper way. It is applicable in all childhood problems like Autism, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disability, Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder to name a few.
Psychological problems just like physical problems require formal testing. This is necessary for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Formal testing helps the psychologist or counsellor to gain more insight into the child’s problem and understand the severity of his symptoms. Children are evaluated on intelligence, aptitude, interest, temperament, careerandneuropsychological aspects.
Medication can help reduce symptoms of inattentiveness, hyperactivity, impulsivity, depression and schizophrenia in children. Different children respond differently to psychiatric medication. Some improve drastically and some experience relatively modest benefits. Medication for each individual needs to be tailored to the child’s needs and monitored by a psychiatrist. Our psychiatrists do a thorough evaluation of the child’s problems and prescribe medication with care.
The goal of behaviour therapy focuses on increasing the child’s engagement in positive or rewarding activities. It also aims at eliminating undesirable behaviour and children. Behavioural problems in children such asanxiety related problems, depression andbed wetting can be altered with the help of behaviour therapy.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for children is a short-term treatment procedure that focuses on teaching children and their parent strategies necessary for coping with problems in daily life. It involves a discussion about how thoughts, feelings and behaviour are interconnected and influence each other. It helps children to take responsibility for choosing more adaptive ways of behaving. It encourages the child to learn new skills through a step by step goal-oriented plan. CBT is helpful in childhood depression, anxiety-related problems and schizophrenia.
Often children’s problems like ADHD, oppositional define disorder, conduct disorder, and schizophrenia may have its roots in dysfunctional family systems. Family interactions that are marked by discord and disharmony can lead to behavioural problems. As a result of the conflictual environment of the family, children may be prone towards showing negative reactions. Such an environment also affects children’s obedience to parents’ instructions, concentration in studies and their ability to cope with stressful situations. Parent-child relationship may need assessment and appropriate guidance so that children’s problems can be resolved.
Speech therapy is an intervention service that focuses on improving a child’s speech and abilities to understand and express language, including nonverbal language. Speech therapists, or more appropriately termed a speech-language pathologist (SLP), are professionals educated in the study of human communication, its development, and its disorders. They are professionals who provide these services. Speech and language pathologists not only assess and treat for articulation, language and cognitive difficulties, but some also focus on swallowing and feeding.
Speech therapy includes two components:
- coordinating the mouth to produce sounds to form words and sentences (to address articulation, fluency, and voice volume regulation)
- understanding and expressing language (to address the use of language through written, pictorial, body, and sign forms, and the use of language through alternative communication systems such as social media, computers, and iPads).
Occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. It is a therapeutic, rehabilitative process that uses purposeful tasks and activities to improve health; prevent further injury or disability; enhance quality of life; and develop, sustain, or restore the highest possible level of independence. It typically includes a comprehensive evaluation of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), assessment of an individual’s functional status, the development and implementation of a customized treatment program, and recommendations for adaptive modifications in home and work environments as well as training in the use of appropriate assistive technology devices.
Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. Patients who benefit from occupational therapy, or OT, include people who have had strokes, people with autism and other developmental disorders, people recovering from certain surgeries (including hip replacements), people who suffer from depression or anxiety.
Occupational therapy services typically include:
- an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
- customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
- an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.
As they grow and develop, all children encounter situations where they feel worried, nervous and sometimes even scared. Some behaviours are not helpful to humans such as aggression and impulsive behaviours. However aggressive and impulsive behaviour are often used by children in response to stress.
Coping skills are what we think and what we do to help us get through difficult situations. A child begins to learn and use different coping skills from the time they are born. Through Coping skills training, one can build on the skills they are already using, as well as assist them to learn new ones.
It includes interventions aimed at increasing an individual’s ability to manage a variety of often uncomfortable or anxiety-provoking situations, ranging from relatively normal or situational problems (e.g., test taking, divorce) to diagnosed disorders (e.g., phobias). It also explores on how to help the child manage strong emotions, promote helpful thinking and assist them to break down tasks into smaller, manageable chunks.
The types of skills taught are tailored to the individuals as well as the situation and can involve increasing cognitive, behavioural, and affective proficiencies.
Attention Skills Training for Children
Attention is a basic skill that we require in nearly all our daily tasks. For children, it enables them to focus on work at hand, learn new information, understand and remember things. The ability to attend is often poor in children with attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and learning disorder. Such children have difficulty in sustaining attention necessary the performance of various daily tasks. This in turn hampers their mental skills such as such as comprehension, memory planning and organization. Attention skills training is rigorous training programme that enhance the child’s alertness and motivation for various tasks.