“If you see a child with a sudden and dramatic onset of unwanted thoughts, fears, rituals, OCD, and a decline in mental health, consider PANDAS/PANS.”
Thankfully this was put on my radar last year, just before several kiddos came to me with undiagnosed PANDAS. Because of my new awareness, I was able to correctly identify PANDAS and send these kids to a physician who was able to verify the diagnosis and provide the correct course of treatment.
Strep or another infection may be triggering the symptoms and distress. Please watch the following video for information about PANDAS.
Many kids are headed back to school. Here are some ways to manage anxiety that might be coming with the start of school.
Stress affects the ENTIRE body. Chronic childhood stress can have a lasting, damaging effect on brain and body development because of the way stress disrupts normal body functions.
Head on over to Harvard's Center on the Developing Child at developingchild.harvard.edu to read their latest on how the brain connects to the rest of the body. Here's a sneak peak:
Office-based, in-person sessions resumed this week. It's good to be back! We will continue to offer telehealth to those wanting that service. Don't forget our teletherapy group for anxious teens!
First full week of telehealth is in the books! Here are a few more tips to make your session go smoothly. Additionally, I ALSO WORK WITH TEENS and young adults --- don't let the little kid stuff in the background fool you into thinking I work only with young kids.
First telehealth session in the books! Here are a couple tips to help your telehealth session go smoothly.
Most mental health therapists (psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical counselors & social workers, etc.) now are providing telehealth appointments, which means YOU HAVE AN ENTIRE STATE'S WORTH OF THERAPISTS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS! If you have been hesitant to engage in therapy because you don't want to come across your therapist at the grocery store, you can choose a therapist a couple hours away within your state. Ya for telehealth! And, yes, even young children can engage in teletherapy. Now go take care of your mental health!
THE ANXIOUS / CLINGY CHILD AND SCHOOL
A few weeks ago, maybe even days ago, your young child was excited and ready for school. School supplies had been purchased, the teacher meet & greet had happened, and your child actually went to bed on time the night before the sacred first day of school. All was splendid on the western front until the time to leave appeared....along with A TOTAL MELTDOWN. Your formerly excited child now was a blubbering mess attached to your leg refusing to go to school.
IT’S HARD ON BOTH OF YOU
As a parent, seeing your child cry and plead for you not to leave her at that dreaded school or put her on that stinky bus can be heart-wrenching, but there are ways to make it better for both you and your child.
If you can find out what’s making your child anxious or afraid, speak to her about
that in a supportive and factual way. For example, a child might proclaim, “I don’t
remember how to get to my classroom and I’m going to get lost!” You calmly can walk
her back through the steps of getting to her classroom. If needed, draw a small map
or write directions if she can read. (My daughter’s classroom is at the 2nd clock in the
hallway, so we used this as her compass.)
Rinse and Repeat
Give yourselves some time to get used to the new routine while you continue to do the steps above. If your child continues to exhibit high anxiety after the first 4-6 weeks, consider additional support such as a meeting with the teacher, school counselor, or a private counselor.
If you are in the Cincinnati area and are looking for additional help for your child, check out Child Counseling Place.
- Erica L. Daniels, LPCC-S
Pediatric Mental Health Counselor
Child Counseling Place
What is the difference between ADHD and ADD?
Technically, ADD, or Attention Deficit Disorder, is not a clinical diagnosis. What most people refer to as ADD is a subset of ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V) is the clinical manual that lists every mental disorder as determined by the American Psychiatric Association. Almost all disorders are grouped into categories, and then further into subcategories. For example, Bipolar Disorder is grouped under the mood disorders category that contains several mood-related disorders. Further, Bipolar Disorder itself has separate categories, Bipolar I and Bipolar II. Those similar but separate disorders also can be broken down further to identify the severity and symptoms of the disorder (e.g., Bipolar I, severe, with psychotic features).
What people have known as ADD actually is a subset of ADHD called, “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, primarily inattentive presentation.” According the DSM V, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is:
A persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity or impulsivity that interferes with
functioning or development.
1. Inattention: Six or more symptoms of inattention for children up to age 16, or five or more for
adolescents 17 and older and adults; symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6
months, and they are inappropriate for developmental level:
1. Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at
work, or with other activities.
2. Often has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.
3. Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
4. Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or
duties in the workplace (e.g., loses focus, side-tracked).
5. Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.
6. Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period
of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
7. Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g. school materials, pencils, books,
tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
8. Is often easily distracted
9. Is often forgetful in daily activities.
2. Hyperactivity and Impulsivity: Six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity for children
up to age 16, or five or more for adolescents 17 and older and adults; symptoms of hyperactivity
impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and
inappropriate for the person’s developmental level:
1. Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.
2. Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.
3. Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults
may be limited to feeling restless).
4. Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly.
5. Is often “on the go” acting as if “driven by a motor”.
6. Often talks excessively.
7. Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.
8. Often has trouble waiting his/her turn.
9. Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)
In addition, the following conditions must be met:
Based on the types of symptoms, three presentations of ADHD can occur:
So, there’s the breakdown of ADHD. As with other mental health disorders, the rate of ADHD diagnoses continues to rise in both children and adults. Mental health counseling, medication, homeopathy, and self-regulation techniques are known to improve negative symptoms of ADHD.
If you think you or your child may have ADHD, consider speaking to a psychiatrist or mental health professional first. These people not only are trained to correctly identify ADHD in children, but also to utilize correct and evidenced-based treatments for ADHD.