Well-trained mental health professionals will work with you to plan a treatment that best meets your child’s needs and includes their knowledge of best practices. The first place to start in identifying the right treatment is by having a thorough evaluation. During the evaluation, the clinician will collect history about your child and family, his or her symptoms, events leading up to the distress, school performance, relationships, and other issues. It often takes many sessions to collect the right information to do a comprehensive evaluation. During this time, the clinician may also ask you or your child to take some simple screening tests and other assessments to better understand the nature of your child’s concerns. The tests are to make sure your child gets the best treatment and no hidden concerns are missed.
Therapy is the primary component of treating your child’s mental health issues. Therapy is a form of treatment that can help children and families understand and resolve problems, modify behavior and make positive changes in their lives. There are several types of therapy that involve different approaches, techniques and interventions. At times, a combination of different therapy approaches may be helpful. In some cases, a combination of medication with therapy may be more effective.
Medication can be an effective part of the treatment for several mental disorders of childhood and adolescence. A doctor’s recommendation to use medication may raise concerns and questions in both parents and the child. The physician who recommends the medication should be experience in treating psychiatric illnesses in children and adolescents. He or she should fully explain the reasons for medication use, what benefits the medication should provide, as well as possible risks and side effects. Other treatment alternatives should also be discussed.