Detecting Signs of Trouble in Kids for Early Intervention
Detecting problems early makes a world of difference. Kids who receive early intervention improve more rapidly and successfully than those whose problems lie unaddressed for years. The following signs don’t necessarily indicate huge problems, but should be checked out by a pediatrician and/or mental-health professional:
Significant delays in motor skills
Lack of eye contact
Lack of smile response
Significant delays in language
Disinterest or withdrawal from others
Loss of interest in activities
Sustained changes in appetite or sleep
Emotions that are either extreme or don’t fit what’s going on
Problems with focusing attention
Restlessness or hyperactivity
Lack of friendships
Excessive, prolonged tantrums
This list is not intended to be comprehensive. If a child you care about demonstrates behaviors that concern you, it’s always better to have the problem checked out than to overlook it. Pay particular attention to things that seem quite different than what you see in kids of a similar age.
Pediatricians are a great place to start if you have concerns. Even if the problem isn’t physical, they usually know who to refer kids to if they show signs of emotional or behavioral problems.