What To Expect at a Behavioral Health Evaluation

What To Expect at a Behavioral Health Evaluation

As a parent, it’s only natural to be curious about your child’s behavior. Is your child’s behavior normal, or is it a sign your child needs help? A behavioral health evaluation from your pediatrician can help identify behavioral issues early, so they can be treated.

What You Need To Know About Your Child’s Behavioral Health

Children reach all kinds of milestones as they grow, and behavioral milestones happen too. It’s important for you to know normal behavioral milestones. These are just a few of the normal behaviors you might see in your child:

  • Defiance, which is a sign your child is testing boundaries and exerting independence
  • Withdrawing, which is a sign your child needs to show autonomy, and wants to accomplish things without your help
  • Acting out, which can be a sign of your child reacting to major changes in life, like moving to a new school, divorce, or death of someone close

Your child can benefit from a behavioral health evaluation if you notice your child is:

  • Threatening or harming others, pets, or themselves
  • Damaging things belonging to others
  • Having difficulty forming or keeping relationships with others
  • Showing frequent signs of unhappiness or depression
  • Demonstrating anxiety about going to school
  • Exhibiting defiance and hostility toward authority figures
  • Frequently lying, arguing, stealing, or skipping school
  • Using drugs, drinking, or smoking at an early age

When you visit the pediatrician for a behavioral health evaluation, it’s important to know what to expect. During the behavioral health evaluation, your pediatrician will:

  • Perform a complete medical examination to ensure there are no underlying medical conditions contributing to the behaviors
  • Order laboratory work and other testing to aid in diagnosis
  • Observe your child’s behaviors and record any signs you and other members of your household have observed

After a comprehensive evaluation, your pediatrician will design a treatment plan to limit or eliminate bad behaviors and encourage good behaviors. The treatment plan may include:

  • Individual, group, and family counseling
  • Lifestyle modification including diet and exercise
  • Medication if necessary to modify behavior
  • Additional specialty care with a child psychologist

Want To Know More About What To Expect at a Behavioral Health Evaluation?

To find out more about your child’s behavioral health and how your child can benefit from a behavioral health evaluation, talk with your pediatrician today.