Saturday, July 9, 2011

Causes of Children's Behavioural Problems

Generally, my approach to assessing behavioural problems in kids (or adults) is to assess the causes:
  1. Is it their personality or genetic trait? (Unfortunately we cannot really change it but certainly we can try to understand it and work with it).  One of the Eastern Philosophy is that, if you are a peach, then always a peach.  You can add syrup to it, you can poach it, you add flavour enhancers to it but it's still a peach.  The moral of the story is that you can still bring out the best version of itself, but you cannot change its core nature.
  2. Is it their environment? For example, is it their interactions with the parents, teachers, school, friends, or other environmental factors.
  3. Is it due to any medical problems e.g. their physical wellbeing.  Do they have a hearing problem?  Do they have sleep apnea?  Your Doctor will to fully assess your child and need to rule these out.
  4. Is there any specific mental health issues like ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, Asperger's, Autism, Learning Difficulties, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Conduct Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorders etc....(Careful not to over-diagnose here).
  5. For teenagers and adults....Is there any alcohol/drug use?
From a Doctor's perspective, we need to carefully assess all the above factors and manage accordingly.

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