After your child has been evaluated, the mental health professional will probably describe your child’s condition to you by giving it a name or diagnosis. This is very important, because just like a physical illness such as diabetes, asthma or the flu, diagnosing the problem is the first important step in choosing the right treatment. A list and description of a number of the mental health, emotional, and behavioral problems that can occur during childhood and adolescence can be found by clicking here.
Some mental health disorders are more common than others and they can range from mild to severe. Oftentimes a child may have more than one disorder. The names of the diagnoses may be new to you, so do not hesitate to ask questions about anything you do not understand. If the mental health professional is sharing a lot of information at once or is going too fast as they explain your child’s condition, be sure to ask for more details and explanations. This is your right and the health care professional’s responsibility.
Sometimes you may be told what type of condition they think your child may have, but they may still not be sure about the exact diagnosis, because it often takes more time to be sure.
In addition to providing you with a diagnosis of your child’s condition. The doctor or other mental health provider should also explain your child’s condition to you and discuss what their needs might be, how it might affect them or the types of things that may help.
Often after you leave the doctor’s office you think of many follow up questions to ask. It may be helpful to ask the doctor during your appointment what you should do if you have follow up questions. You can also ask the doctor if they have printed information about your child’s disorder that they could share with you.
If you still want additional information about your child’s condition, there are a lot of really great resources online and at your local library or bookstore. To find additional online resources that may help you click here.
One important thing to keep in mind when looking at information is that all children are not alike. One child with bipolar disorder may have an entirely different experience than another child with the same condition. So it is very important for you to consider the information you read as general guidelines. Your child’s condition may not be like everything you read.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that even though any mental health disorder has the potential to have a serious impact on a child’s life ~ effective treatments are available. With the right treatment, services and supports your child can mange their mental health symptoms and have a happy successful life!
If you need additional resources or don’t have access to a computer to view the electronic resources and links pasted below, contact the ACMH office and a Family Resource Specialist can help you get the information you need.