Working with Children

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Child Assessment & Testing – Clinical and Diagnostic Assessments

Because childhood disorders vary considerably, accurate diagnostic assessment is the first step towards developing strategies that will help.  At Sheridan’s Psychology we have testing for intelligence/aptitude, ADHD/ADD, anxiety/depression and many other presentations that children may have. Our goal is not to pigeon hole a child but to find out what the underlying issues may be so we can best treat and work with the child/parent to better management and outcomes.

Treatment

Treatment differs, for example, children with ADHD and/or ADD show developmentally inappropriate inattention, impulsivity and overactivity. These behaviours are not situationally bound and occur in different contexts, such as home, playgrounds, school and public places. Symptoms usually present from an early age, before 7 years. Other presentations may be: Behavioural or externalising disorders include Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder. Generally behavioural disorders are characterised by hostile and negativistic behaviour, anger, rule breaking, deceit and lack of respect for the right of others.

Evidence based methods show that the best possible approach to change problem behaviour is through changed parental practices. Apart from the diagnostic assessment and report, we offer advice and parenting skills training. The Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) was designed to teach parents specific skills to change their children’s problem behaviour through re-enforcement and classical conditioning techniques. We work with this model to help parents and children find a better way. Often parents have already tried many approaches so we work together to help in finding ways for individual situations.

Behaviour modification assumes that both parents take an equal responsibility towards behaviour management. Similarly, the success of behaviour management largely depends on consistency between involved parties, such as parents, teachers and professionals. If necessary, we will contact Teachers (with consent by parents) to discuss psychological treatment is in line with school plans.

Child Centered Intervention

This is the part of treatment where children are directly taught behavioural techniques to overcome their difficulties associated with ADHD. These include attention training (e.g., play activities and games) and behaviour modification (e.g., self-monitoring skills).