ACMH staff answer a variety of questions that come in from family members on our toll-free family phone line. Listed below are some common questions that families have. If the posted answer posted is not helpful to your individual situation or if you or need additional information or assistance, please feel free to call an ACMH Family Support Specialist toll-free at 1-888-226-4543 today.
Question: My child is not connecting with their therapist what should I do?
Start by talking with your child about the situation. Your child’s age will dictate how this conversation should look and sound. The next step is to take these concerns to the therapist. A great therapist will do what he/she can to strengthen the relationship. If none of this works you can always request a new therapist by contacting a supervisor, however no provider is required to provide a new therapist. Whether you get a different therapist for you family or not will depend on several factors including your child’s individual needs and the agencies staff availability.
Question: I told my child’s pediatrician about my concerns about my child’s behavior and they acted like I was over-reacting and worrying too much. . I have been concerned for some time and feel my concerns get discounted every time I bring them up. What should I do next?
Often times primary care physicians or pediatricians do not have a lot of experience in behavior/mental health issues. You may want to ask your child’s pediatrician for a referral to a children’s mental health specialist at your next visit. If this does not work you could also call your local Community Mental Health ACCESS line to voice your concerns. The person who does your intake will ask you several question regarding your child’s behavior and development in order to see if your child may qualify for mental health services. It is important to answer these questions honestly. The number for your local ACCESS can be found at the following site:
Question: My toddler’s temper tantrums are getting out of control. How do I know the difference between the ‘terrible twos’ or possible warning signs of a mental health issue?
Unfortunately we are not able to tell you if the behavior your child is exhibiting is more than just terrible twos or not. If, in your gut, you feel that the temper tantrums may be a sign of a more serious problem then please seek help for your child. You know your child best so follow your instincts. A good place to start is on our site:
Our website has a list of early signs of mental health challenges in young children that can be found at: http://www.acmh-mi.org/get-information/childrens-mental-health-101/mental-health-in/early-childhood/
Question: I get kind of scared when people use the words ‘family-driven’-I don’t want to do this all by myself. What does family-driven really mean?
Family driven doesn’t mean that you are all alone or that you have to have all the answers. It means that you’re part of a team-they are there to support you, provide information about their areas of expertise, and help you to make decisions about your child’s care. It also means that your voice as a parent or caregiver is vital when leaders of agencies, state departments, and our government are making decisions about policies, budgets, and laws as they impact our children and youth.
Question: How can I get my child tested for special education services?
You can talk with your child’s teacher or school principal about your concerns. In order to start the formal process of having your child evaluated you may also want to write a letter to the school expressing your concerns and requesting that your child be evaluated. Sample letters can be found here.
Additional Questions and Answers will be posted regularly so please be sure to check back often!