A parent does not have to be a member of the medical profession to realize that the more quickly a child's condition is diagnosed, the faster proper treatment may commence. Certain conditions are very easy to pick up on. When a child is showing signs of the flu or a nagging injury, the parent is sure to quickly bring the little one into a pediatrician's office. Such may not be the case when the child is displaying the signs of mental health problems. Parents should not dismiss aggressive physical behaviors such as fighting and related injuries that might underlie a mental condition in need of care.
The Serious Nature of Behavioral Concerns
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) made a critical statement about behavioral concerns associated with the treatment of children. The statement stressed that numerous mental health issues affect a significant number of children and these conditions must be treated early -- or else more serious problems may arise in the future. Parents do have to look for signs that may indicate such a condition exists and then take the child into the pediatrician's office for a proper examination and, possibly, a referral.
The behavioral issues to be on the alert for are varied and may include:
- Displaying Belligerent Actions
Children do get into fights. While unfortunate, small scuffles are common in all elementary schools. When a child is always getting into fights with other children, or even worse, becoming violent with a teacher, this might be a sign of a mental health disorder. A child who shows "minor" injuries due to fighting may be suffering from a troubling and sophisticated disorder such as oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) among others.
- Bullied Due to Shyness
Injuries from fights could be the result of another student choosing to bully a child. Excessive shyness is a trait that sadly draws in the attention of predatory bullies. Shyness is not always the result of a disorder, but it can be. When a child is treated for injuries related to bullying, parents are going to be too flustered to look at other related conditions. Yet, Asperger's Syndrome could be the cause of the shyness.
- Exposed to Fighting
The child does not have to be an active participant in fighting to suffer from it. Children living in a home that is rife with domestic violence could develop any number of mental health problems later in life. Adults who separate themselves from a violent partner should not think all difficulties have ended for the child. Exploring pediatric mental health evaluations could prove extremely helpful for the child.
Once again, never delay taking your child to a pediatrics specialist to address any physical or mental problems.