Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health’s (C&A) Early Childhood program is designed to meet the developmental needs of families for children age birth to six-years-old.
If, you as a parent, suspect your child is experiencing emotional, social or developmental issues, the first step is to call and speak with a clinician in C&A’s Early Childhood program. A consultation appointment will be set up. This appointment may take place at the client’s home or in a C&A office.
Following the consultation appointment, if the clinician recommends and you agree, an appointment will be set up for a diagnostic assessment. The assessment will include an in-office interview with the parents/legal guardian. During the assessment process, while the clinician is speaking with parents/legal guardian, the child will be doing activities to gage his/her social and emotional development through play. Catching any social or emotional needs early in the development stage is the best outcome for the child.
Behavioral and trauma issues
Children at all age groups but particularly Early Childhood children, can experience any number of behavioral and trauma issues.
Children experiencing a behavioral issue may have trouble adjusting to a new situation. Examples of this could be the arrival of a new sibling; moving to a new house; going to pre-school or transitioning from pre-school to an elementary school; or the parents are getting a divorce. Other issues could include a grandparent setting different boundaries when babysitting compared to the parents.
Children experiencing developmental trauma are exposed to ongoing stress levels. These stress levels could include the family lives in poverty; is transient; or homeless. Other stress factors could include witnessing domestic violence; placed in foster care; or being neglected/abuse themselves.
Several other factors may indicate there is an issue taking place with your child. These factors may include:
- Tantrums that last longer than an hour more than three times a day
- Difficulty going to sleep and/or staying asleep
- Sensory issues – this could be seeking or avoiding sensory input that can hurt daily functions
- Attachment concerns with the parent-child relationship. The child is not making healthy eye contact or having difficulty separating from the caregiver
- Family is unable to go shopping or to a restaurant with the child due to unwanted behavior
Children develop at a rapid pace between the ages of zero and five. This is the stage that change happens quickly.
The services provided in the Early Childhood program include:
- The Incredible Years programming for children, parents and teachers
- Triple P: Positive Parenting Program
- Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Trauma Focus Cognitive Therapy
- Case Management
Evidence-based parenting groups enable a clinician to offer group therapy to the parents while the child is receiving their own group therapy. This program is based over a two-hour time frame.
Case management therapy is where a case manager will meet with families where they are. The case manager helps the child practice the skills they learn at home and school. This also enables the case manager to connect the family with resources.
The End Goal:
The ultimate goal is to give families the skills to help support the needs of the child. A healthy attachment is most important at this developmental stage. Our goal is to help families rebuild that attachment to prevent long-term behavioral health concerns.