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Pediatric Therapy For Children
The Challenges of Treating Children
Pediatric therapy is a very broad term that encompasses all types of medical and psychiatric treatment for children. Usually, pediatric therapy is reserved for young children, and while the term can refer to medical treatment, it’s generally used for ongoing therapy to treat physical, cognitive, and emotional disorders and conditions.
Some examples of these disorders and conditions include:
- Physical handicaps
- Psychological trauma and emotional disorders
- Developmental disorders
- Helping a child to address specific problems or events such as divorce or a move
As young children are in the very early stages of development in every possible sense, treating these types of issues and disorders requires a different skill set than what would be necessary in treating adults. Therapists who offer pediatric therapy for children are usually specially trained or experienced in their fields and are capable of handling many of the challenges of treating children at various stages of development. If you’re considering any type of pediatric therapy for children in your family, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Evaluating Pediatric Therapy Options and Getting a Diagnosis
Before seeking any type of pediatric therapy, families should pursue an accurate diagnosis from a professional. Depending on the problems that the child is experiencing, this can sometimes be difficult, particularly if a parent isn’t sure whether a condition is psychological or developmental.
Parents should find a licensed psychologist or sociologist who offers pediatric services. A therapist who only offers services for adults should not be used in this instance, as adult therapy is extremely different and making an accurate diagnosis is likewise very different. Pediatric psychotherapists can be found through the Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP). This organization provides information on pediatric psychotherapists who offer therapy and diagnosis services for effective and safe treatment of psychological, emotional, and cognitive disorders in children, usually up to the age of 21.
Differences in Child Therapy and Adult Therapy
Children who require psychotherapy are treated in a very gentle environment. The therapist is trained to carefully explain concepts to children in a nurturing and helpful way. Parents may be present during child therapy sessions, or in some cases the session may be just the child and the therapist. Some parents have a problem with this approach; if this is the case, it’s important to make this clear to the therapist before the first session begins.
As pediatric therapy is a broad term, the methods used in pediatric treatment can vary by quite a bit. Music therapy, group therapy, and physical therapy are all part of pediatric therapy. In order to make the sessions fun and engaging for the child, games and activities may be used to promote expression and to provide the therapist with a special tool for analyzing and treating disorders in children. The method of treatment used by your pediatric therapist may vary greatly from those listed, and many therapists will use multiple forms of treatment in a single session.
Does Your Child Need Therapy?
Only a psychologist, sociologist, or a medical professional can decide whether your child could benefit from therapy. However, children that have been diagnosed with conditions and disorders will unquestionably benefit from a specialized approach. Parents should read as much information as possible about different therapy options and should rely on the advice of an established medical or psychology professional. Getting the right help for a child can seem like a very complex and potentially confusing process, but specialized treatment is essential, especially in early childhood.