The idea of sending a kid to child behavioral therapy sounds dramatic to some folks. However, it's a reasonable option if the circumstances merit it. There are signs you can look for that it might be time to contact a child behavioral therapist, and here are 5 of the more significant ones.
Struggles in Several Basic Life Areas
Children should develop some capacity for family interactions, friendships, work in school, and personal activities. That is to say, they should be able to have valuable experiences in those areas.
Also, this sort of development should evolve fairly naturally as long as there isn't a particular obstacle in the way. There might be bumps along the way, but the child should respond to them, adapt, and keep trying to improve without becoming discouraged in the long run. If you see a decline or an absence of that inclination to meet such challenges, it might be time to speak with a child behavioral therapist.
Consistent Expressions of Negative Sentiments
When a kid speculates about the impact of certain negative scenarios, it should concern you. For example, a child might express feelings that no one would notice if they ran away from home. These are often the first indicators of hopelessness, and they might signal a bigger issue that should be explored in child behavioral therapy.
Future-facing negativity is a potentially strong sign of trouble. Kids tend to be forward-thinking people who enjoy speculating about their futures, even if only on limited timelines and in frames of reference they can understand. If a child dreads the future on a regular basis, take it as a worrisome sign.
Inflicting harm on oneself is always a concerning indicator. Don't overreact if there isn't an immediate threat of hospitalization or death, especially in the moment. However, speak with a professional and get a sense of what the available therapy options might be.
Repetitive Physical Actions
Self-stimulation is often a response to feelings or inputs. If a kid regularly picks at dry skin, for example, they might be expressing feelings that are hard to process. The same goes for behaviors like rocking or pulling their own hair.
Kids tend to like doing their favorites things a lot. They like visiting certain people and going to particular places, too. If you see a child who withdraws for days or weeks from things they used to enjoy, it should tip you off about something worrisome.