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Posts for tag: Behavioral Health

By Southwest Children's Clinic
September 14, 2022
Tags: Behavioral Health  

Children exhibit all kinds of interesting behaviors. Many of these behaviors are normal boundary testing, showing independence, and other healthy milestones you want to see.

Children can also exhibit behaviors you don’t want to see, like aggressiveness, sadness, and fear. Your pediatrician is an expert on child development and can help you with your child’s behavioral health.

First let’s look at normal behaviors you want to see. These include:

  • Defiance, because your child may be testing boundaries and exerting independence
  • Withdrawing, because your child needs to show autonomy, and wants to accomplish things without your help
  • Acting out, because your child may be reacting to major changes in life, like moving to a new school, divorce, or death of a close family member

Now, let’s look at behaviors that could be warning signs of a behavioral disorder. These include:

  • Threatening or harming others, pets, or themselves
  • Damaging possessions belonging to others
  • Having difficulty forming or keeping relationships with others
  • Showing frequent signs of unhappiness or depression
  • Demonstrating anxiety about going to school
  • Exhibiting defiance and hostility toward authority figures
  • Frequently lying, arguing, stealing, or skipping school
  • Using drugs, drinking, or smoking at an early age

If you notice any of the signs or symptoms listed above, it’s time for a behavioral health evaluation from your child’s pediatrician.

When you bring your child in for a visit with the pediatrician, a complete medical examination is necessary to make sure there are no underlying medical conditions which may be causing your child’s behavior or making it worse. Your pediatrician may also request additional testing including lab work and other studies.

Your pediatrician will develop a treatment plan designed to help with your child’s behavior. Treatment may include:

  • Individual, group, and family counseling
  • Lifestyle modification including diet and exercise
  • Medication if necessary to modify behavior
  • Additional specialty care with a child psychologist

Your child’s behavioral health is just as important as physical health. You want the best for your child, so call your pediatrician today.

By Southwest Children's Clinic
July 21, 2022
Tags: Behavioral Health  

Is your child acting up? Here’s how a pediatrician can help.

Poor grades, fighting with others, lashing out at parents—If you find yourself dealing with these issues, no doubt you’re concerned about your child’s behaviors. Whether the teachers have complained or you’ve seen these issues in your household, it’s essential to address these concerns with your pediatrician.

Pediatricians and Behavioral Health

While a pediatrician is there to provide your child with medical care, which means that they are focused on physical health, that doesn’t mean they can’t recognize behavioral, mental or emotional issues. Since pediatricians often spend the most time with your children and have seen them grow up through the years, they are often the first to spot problems. That’s why you must have a long-standing pediatrician you know and trust.

When to Be Concerned

It’s natural for a child to be sad when they get sick or lose something important to them or a date with a friend gets postponed; however, if your child is dealing with recurring emotional and behavioral issues that are impacting their daily life, well-being and routine, then it may be time to speak with your pediatrician. Behavioral health concerns that may require a further evaluation with a pediatrician include,

  • Anger and irritability
  • Outbursts and temper tantrums
  • Defying adults and acting out
  • Harmful behavior, whether harming themselves or others
  • Avoiding social interactions
  • Trouble focusing and a drop in academic performance
  • Changes in mood
  • Sadness or hopelessness that lasts more than two weeks
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Stealing, lying and other risky behaviors

How a Pediatrician Can Help

There are many factors a pediatrician will take into account when a child comes in for a behavioral health assessment. Certain factors include,

  • Physical
  • Environmental
  • Social
  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Socioeconomic

Any changes to your child’s environment could impact their behavioral health, leading to these problematic behaviors and habits. It’s essential to take all aspects and factors into account so that we can provide the proper diagnosis and treatment plan to help manage behavioral issues. From learning disabilities and separation anxiety to autism and ADHD, a pediatrician can help your child cope with many behavioral health problems.

Yes, kids will be kids, but that doesn’t mean you should let recurring or problematic behaviors slide. If you are concerned about your child’s behavioral health, it’s time you turned to a pediatrician to discuss behavioral health options.