Today we recognize Children’s Mental Health Awareness. The importance of this issue does not depend on whether you are personally affected. The truth is we all know someone suffering from mental health.
Do you understand the significance of early detection and notice the problematic signs? Do you realize the role therapy plays in addressing mental health in children?
In the United States 1 in 6 children between the ages of 2 – 8 has a mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder. 5 kids in a class of 30! More than half of them that have a developmental delay are not discovered before the age of 3.
Most parents think their child is merely going through a “phase” and will grow out of concerning issues. It is easy to think this way especially if they are your first child and you have not yet seen typical behaviors and development from older siblings. Each child is different, but if you are seeing abnormal behavior then extra attention is needed. It can be heartbreaking watching a child struggle.
If you are concerned your child shows signs of a mental illness consult their doctor. Tell them about behaviors that are worrying you.
These signs can be any of the following:
- Withdrawing from social interactions
- Outbursts or extreme irritability
- Self-harm or aggressive behavior
- Changes in mood and personality
- Weight loss or gain
- Problems sleeping
- Inability to focus
- Extended periods of sadness
- Changes in eating habits
- Frequent levels of anxiety
Screening for mental health during the early years will help with intervention and is required for receiving needed services. Seek the support your child needs.
The Role of Occupational and Speech Therapy
When it comes to mental illness, occupational and speech therapists at FUNctionabilities provide therapy services for children and youth by focusing on function and independence. This includes creating goals and an individualized plan after specific testing to understand the causes of the symptoms. This helps children learn to expand their abilities and perform tasks their peers effortlessly do. They learn to express their feelings and better communicate while improving their social skills and confidence.
Strive to be the hero your child needs. Do what it takes to help them. If you have concerns, then begin treatment at an early age. Don’t delay! Without treatment, disorders will continue into adulthood causing emotional, mental, and physical issues on a larger scale. Our therapists promote mental health daily as they work with children. These children receive our life-changing therapy that enables them to DREAM, FIGHT, and BECOME all you hoped for.
Ready for another tool in your parenting toolkit? You’re not alone. See what to do after receiving a diagnosis for mental illness.