When To Consider Taking Your Child To A Pediatric Psychologist

The psychological development of your child is just as important as physical, emotional, and intellectual development. Growing up has challenges, and children go through phases, so it can be difficult sometimes to distinguish between normal behavior and signs your child needs help. A watch and wait approach may be appropriate in some cases, but other signs indicate your child needs help, and you may want to visit a pediatric psychologist for advice. Here are times to consider taking your child to a psychologist.

When Your Child Harms Themselves Or Others

If your child poses a danger to younger siblings, kids at school, family pets, or themselves, you should seek help. Your child could be acting out because of a trauma you don't know about or because of an underlying mental disorder.

A pediatric psychologist can determine the cause of the behavior and then provide your child with treatment and counseling to correct it while your child is still young. The psychologist can also offer advice on how you can handle the problem at home to help your child and keep them from harming themselves and others.

If Your Child Develops An Eating Disorder

Small children are notorious for being picky about what they eat and having odd eating habits. However, when you notice a change in the amount of food your child eats or in their habits with food, that is a cause for concern.

If your child is gaining a lot of weight, they may be overeating for comfort reasons and hiding how much they eat. Your child might be eating a lot and not gaining weight due to bulimia. If your child rarely eats much at all, anorexia could be a concern.

Eating disorders cause physical harm and can even be deadly, so early treatment is important. Eating disorders are also difficult to treat once they become established, so taking your child to a psychologist when you suspect they have an eating disorder could protect your child's health.

When Your Child's Behavior Is Disruptive

Children aren't always agreeable and pleasant. They go through stages such as the terrible twos and the sullen teen years.

However, those stages are different from a child that has a behavior disorder or who is very disruptive at school or at home. Your child may act out as a way of struggling with frustration, anger, or grief.

It's important to learn the cause or to have a disorder diagnosed. Otherwise, your child could suffer emotional distress, have trouble making friends, do poorly in school, get kicked out of school, and create chaos in your home life.

A pediatric psychologist has ways of treating your child that might include play therapy or talking depending on your child's age. Your child may only need an evaluation and a few visits. or your child might need long-term therapy. By getting help for your child while they're still young, you might stop a psychological problem from getting worse and making their life more difficult once they've reached adulthood.