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Normal Behaviour and Behaviour that Needs to be Followed Up in Children & Adolescents

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Lon Cunningham

on 1 May 2013

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Transcript of Normal Behaviour and Behaviour that Needs to be Followed Up in Children & Adolescents

Normal Behaviour Vs Behaviour that needs following up in Children & Adolescents Why do we need to know what's normal and what needs following up? Disruptive behaviour can be part of what needs to happen for our children to learn things, grow and develop (e.g., kids need to argue with siblings to learn social boundaries)

Disruptive behaviour can also be an indication that our children need extra support

We need to know the difference so we can tolerate the behaviour or get help to change it!!

What is normal or abnormal behaviour changes depending on age Normal vs needs following up in Infancy & Early Childhood (ages 0-5) Normal Needs following up Settling difficulties when uncomfortable (e.g., wind, tired, hungry)
Difficulty sharing
Fear (of separation, dark, new situations)
Some aggression, kicking, biting, yelling Withdrawing from caregivers
Not engaged (e.g., eye contact, smiling)
Always difficult to settle
Too frightened of familiar people
Too friendly with strangers
Excessive aggression with no trigger Normal Vs Needs following up in Childhood (6-12 years) Normal Needs following up Arguments with siblings and peers
Curiosity about sexual body parts
Testing limits
Poor attention span
Worries about peer acceptance
Not taking responsibility for own behaviour Excessively aggressive
Injuring self or others
Excessive fears
School refusal
Fire setting
Frequent excessive emotional reactions
Inability to focus for longer than 5 minutes
Delinquent behaviour
Violating other's rights What's normal Vs what needs following up in Adolescence? Normal Needs following up Sexual promiscuity
Suicidal or homicidal thoughts
Withdrawal from usual activities
Huge changes in grades, hygiene, attitude, sleeping, eating
Excessive fighting/aggression
Many complaints of physical illness
Hearing or seeing things that other people can't Moodiness
Less attention toward parents
More self-involved
Peer conflicts
Worries about relationships
Testing limits (e.g., arguing about curfew)
Identity searching
Substance experimentation
Preoccupation with sex What type of problem is my child experiencing? Behavioural Mental Developmental When something in the child's environment is rewarding the problem behaviour or keeping it going
e.g., attention may reward some tantrums When something is different about the way a child is developing, which leads to the child's difficulties
e.g., Autism, intellectual impairment, learning disorders
Something is different in the child's brain
Child may have difficulty attaining the same skills as other children Something is different about the way the child thinks or perceives the world, which leads to distress
e.g., Depression, anxiety
Mental disorders are caused by a combination of differences in the child's brain and experiences the child has
No difficulties attaining skills, but may be difficulties with functioning Okay, so my GP and I have worked out what's going on, what's next?? Your GP will refer you to psychologist to further work out what the problem is and provide suggestions for intervention

Parenting Programs Need to decide whether the problem is behavioural or mental or developmental

You don't need to know the answer to this - just go to the GP and they will help work it out Okay, so my child is doing some things that need following up, what do I do next? Okay, but what interventions are out there? Behavioural problems - Developmental Problems - Mental illnesses - Parenting programs
123 Magic (we'll be talking about some of these strategies in other sessions).
Triple P Autism - Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA), social skills programs
Intellectual impairment - Individual learning programs to help child progress at their own pace Psychologist
Group programs for things like social anxiety Questions??? Finding Services Find a psychologist using APS: http://www.psychology.org.au/FindaPsychologist/

Find other community health services: http://www.gmsbml.org.au/hp_directory.php

Parenting Programs for Behavioural problems: http://www.123magic.com/,

Autism Service Programs: http://www.autismpartnership.com.au/ , http://www.autismqld.com.au/

Child and Youth Mental Health Service: http://www.health.qld.gov.au/metrosouthmentalhealth/resources/fact-sheets/cymhs.asp

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