What are the main childhood psychiatric disorders

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During the years of growth, the child finds himself facing very different situations, often complicated, and is not always able to act with the right serenity. In him a strong sense of psychological distress, which if neglected or not identified promptly, risks turning into a childhood psychiatric disorder.

Parents and teachers are much more sensitive

"Fortunately, today there is much more attention than in the past," explains the doctor Tiziana Pozzi, child neuropsychiatrist of the Rehabilitation Service of via Carlo Bazzi and of the Polyclinic of via Valle in our city. "The teachers kindergartens and preschools are very prepared and sensitive, recommending one immediately specialist in case of behaviors that do not conform to the normotypic development. Same Parentsthen, they are much more informed and aware ».


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  • Behavior, autism and learning problems 
  • Aggressive behavior and lack of autonomy
  • Indifference and repetitiveness typical of autism
  • Language difficulties: dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysorthography, dysgraphia
  • How to deal with these ailments

Behavior, autism and learning problems

Fifteen years ago, the average age of the first neuropsychiatric visit was around 4-6 years; today it has dropped to 1-2 years. The data is certainly positive, because the sooner a diagnosis is made, the sooner one can intervene at a medical level. But what are they the most common childhood psychiatric disorders? They belong to three distinct macro-areas:

  • the dysregulation disorders of the behavior
  • autism spectrum disorders
  • language and learning disorders

1. Aggressive behavior and lack of autonomy

Hostile attitudes, aggression, restlessness, are just a few examples of the conduct a child takes with behavioral difficulties. “In this case we are not dealing with neurodevelopmental problems in the strict sense, but with subjects who find it hard to adapt to the demands of the environment. Often they don't manifest any kind of autonomy and, for example, they ask to be fed even if they are old enough to eat alone, or they want to sleep in the bed, they have constant tantrums and frantically go from one activity to another ».


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2. The indifference and repetitiveness typical of autism

Disorders related toautism they are easily recognizable. "Often the child has an avoidant look, seems indifferent to what happens around him, he does not use facial expressions to communicate and he does not speak or in any case manifest a certain delay in the acquisition of verbal language. Physical contact is not sought in any way or, on the contrary, the child is too adhesive and considers the adult as an extension of the self ". It is also very common for children with autistic forms to fixate on an activity and repeat it obsessively, becoming angry if someone tries to stop them.

3. Language difficulties, dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia

The diagnoses of language-related disorders. Children who suffer from it have difficulty speaking, use few words, confuse the letters that form words or cannot formulate sentences. «Often the problems of language translate into learning disabilities. It is the case of the dyslexiaand dysgraphia and dyscalculia, which prevent correct reading, writing and mathematical calculations. These pathologies are recognized in school age and can only be diagnosed after the end of the second and third elementary school years ".


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How to deal with these ailments

«The fundamental premise is that each case is unique and needs a project individual intervention»Concludes Dr. Pozzi. «It is important that the therapy process is sustainable for the whole family. Even the school, grandparents and relatives must network ". A minimum of two sessions a week, which can even become five in the most complex situations. The path is quite long and in some cases it continues for years.

Here is a list of the main forms of intervention implemented today. After visiting the child, the specialist will formulate the most suitable therapy:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Logotherapy
  • Neuropsicomotricità
  • Occupational therapy or occupational therapy
  • Augmentative and alternative communication
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Psychoeducational Treatments for Autism
Read also: Dyslexia, how to intervene

Questions and answers

What are the most common psychiatric disorders?

Behavioral dysregulation disorders, autism spectrum disorders, language and learning disorders.

What are the most valid interventions to treat childhood psychiatric disorders?

Psychotherapy, speech therapy, neuropsychomotricity, occupational therapy or ergotherapy, augmentative and alternative communication, cognitive therapy, psychoeducational treatments for autism. After having examined the child, the specialist will formulate the most suitable therapy.

  • neuropsychiatrist
  • child neuropsychiatry
  • anger
  • autism
  • dyslexia
  • behavior
  • 1-2 children years
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