Pediatric Behavioral Health Counseling
What Is Pediatric Behavioral Health Counseling?
Pediatric behavioral health counseling refers to various branches of therapy that treat mental health disorders in children. The aim of pediatric behavioral health counseling is to discover, analyze, and correct unhealthy or harmful behaviors.
Benefits of Behavioral Health Counseling
Mental, emotional, and behavioral issues experienced during childhood can grow into long-term, deeply rooted health problems later in life. As such, children with a wide range of issues or challenges can benefit greatly from pediatric behavioral health counseling.
Behavioral health counseling can treat a wide range of mental, emotional, and behavioral issues in children. Some common examples include:
- Disruptive behavior disorders
Behavioral health counseling, if done correctly, can treat a wide variety of mental health problems while helping your child succeed at home, in school, and when socializing with friends and family.
Does My Child Need Mental Health Counseling?
As many parents know, it’s not always easy to tell how your child is feeling at any given time. For this reason, it can be hard to know if and when your child may need mental health counseling.
Contacting a therapist, whether for children or for adults, is a deeply personal decision. There is no ‘checklist’ that will tell you when your child needs behavioral health counseling.
However, there are some general behaviors, life events, and other things that may indicate a need for counseling. For example, your child may:
- Be going through a stressful life situation, such as bullying, a health problem in the family, death in the family, a divorce, a new sibling, or moving to a new home or school.
- Have a hard time making friends in comparison to other kids at school.
- Be getting lower grades than usual, or have a hard time focusing on schoolwork or paying attention in class.
- Throw tantrums that last longer than normal, or become destructive and attempt to physically hit people.
- Exhibit a sudden, major personality change, such as spending lots of time in their room or refusing to play outside.
If your child is struggling with any of these issues, or if they just need a little extra emotional support and someone to talk to about their feelings, please reach out to us about our mental and behavioral health counseling services.
Social Communication Therapy
Social communication therapy aims to enhance social communication skills in children while also encouraging participation in social settings and activities. Through social communication therapy, speech therapists will help your child develop peer relationships and achieve academic success.
There are three major social communication skills that our pediatric therapy services seek to cultivate:
- Using language for different reasons: understanding that speech can be used in different contexts to fulfill different purposes. Some uses of language include:
- Greeting: “Hello” or “goodbye”
- Informing: “I’m going to get a cookie”
- Demanding: “Give me a cookie right now”
- Promising: “I’m going to get you a cookie”
- Requesting: “I want a cookie, please”
- Changing language for the listener or situation: understanding that different people or situations require different kinds of speech. Examples include:
- Speaking differently to other children than to adults.
- Giving more information to people who seem not to know about a topic.
- Speaking differently when in a classroom than when on the playground.
- Following rules for conversations and storytelling: being able to tell stories and maintain conversations with others in social settings. Examples include:
- Taking turns when people talk.
- Keeping on topic.
- Trying another way of saying something when someone did not understand it the first time.
- Using gestures/body language, such as pointing or shrugging, to supplement speech.
If your child has difficulty (1) recognizing the different uses of language, (2) adjusting their speech for different people/situations, or (3) maintaining conversations with others, they may have a social communication disorder.
Traumatic Brain Injury & Stroke Rehabilitation
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a kind of acquired brain injury that typically results from a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that is significant enough to disrupt normal brain functions.
Moreover, TBI in children may present differently than in adults. For example, deficits may not become immediately apparent because the child’s brain is still developing. TBI in children is a chronic disease rather than a one-time event. This means that symptoms may change and unfold over long periods of time.
If you suspect that your child may have experienced a TBI, contact us right away.
Our pediatric therapy services include advanced strategies to improve memory, reasoning, and problem-solving skills in children suffering from brain injuries.