Pediatric Psychiatric Evaluation
When children under the age of 18 are affected by emotional upset, behavioral disorders, or developmental disorders there can be many challenges. A pediatric psychiatric evaluation may be necessary in order to help diagnose and treat these disorders in an effective manner. Often times, it’s the parents who first notice a problem and seek help but teachers, doctors and other members of the community are also responsible for detecting early problems in the development or behaviors of a child.
A pediatric psychiatric evaluation will consist of an examination of the history of the child, the genetic disposition of the child, the current and past mental status, and behavioral response to various situations. If a teacher was the first to notice a potential problem, the evaluation may include a recommendation or notes from the teacher on particular behaviors or development weaknesses that have been exhibited in the classroom setting. If a parent is the first to notice a problem, the evaluation may include an interview of the parent or a parent filled questionnaire.
The Pediatric Psychiatric Evaluation Process
First, the evaluator will asses the developmental strengths and weaknesses of the child. An interview will be conducted with the parents of the child to determine the child’s history, health, and any concerns that the parents may have. As a parent, it’s important to be completely open and non-judgmental when talking with the doctor or treatment professional during this interview.
The information that is received from the parents will help the psychiatric evaluator to assess which professionals may be needed in the further assessment of the child for developmental or behavioral disorders. Each individual case is different and requires a different focus. One child may need to see a pediatrician for help while the other may require a psychological assessment, medical assessment and treatment from a developmental pediatrician too.
Observation and standard procedures will allow the psychologists to gain a greater understanding in the strengths that a child has as well as in any weaknesses. During the assessment, the child is being evaluated for his or her social involvement, ability to perform cognitively, overall performance, how he or she approaches problems and what methods are used to develop strategies to deal with problems.
After the initial assessment is completed, the psychiatrist or treatment professional will evaluate the information that they have collected through the parental interview process, the review of medical records, and the evaluations to determine whether there is a problem and to form a proper diagnosis. Upon diagnosis, a plan for treatment can be developed to help the child improve his or her performance, behaviors or well-being in regular day to day routines and activities such as socializing, learning, or behaving properly at home or at school.