Childhood is a time of growth, attachment, new skills, friendship and curiosity. When the “norm” is disrupted or never experienced the child, parents, and family system are greatly challenged. Our role is to assess the developmental level of the child, to determine what interventions are needed, and to work with the family to maximize the child’s potential. Interventions depend on the need of each child, which may include further medical work up, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, self-esteem building, parenting skills, social skills and medications. We also encourage parents and siblings to participate in the care needed and in some cases to seek out their own therapeutic care.
Adolescence is a time of growing autonomy, increased importance of peer relationships, academic responsibility and of normal risk-taking behaviors. The ‘norm’ is very varied, yet adolescents, parents, teachers recognize when “the teen is too far off.” Depression and anxiety are frequent offenders. Cyber-bullying and plain bullying are common culprits. Frequent assessments relate to lack of motivation, isolation, suicidal thoughts, use of substances, and at times aggressive behaviors. Our approach is to partner with the teen, to understand his/her perspective, to address the skills needed by the teen, and by the family.