Program to Provide Early Childhood Help
It’s normal for children to be inattentive, hyperactive or impulsive sometimes. But how do you know if a child’s behavior is simply normal – or a symptom of something more serious?
BJC Behavioral Health is partnering with Mini Tandon, DO, St. Louis Children’s Hospital child psychiatrist, to provide a four-part evaluation for children younger than 5 who live in St. Louis County. The group is looking to help children who are showing early signs of mental health problems.
“It’s never too early to get help for a young child,” says Dr. Tandon. “Multiple studies have shown that preschool children may experience significant mental health issues that are early manifestations of autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other disruptive behaviors that may continue throughout school age and into adolescence.”
Dr. Tandon tells parents it might be time to seek help if their child:
- is highly distractible and hyperactive in several settings, impairing the child’s ability to learn
- often hits, bites, kicks or fights with peers and siblings and/or adults
- has significant changes in sleep or appetite
- doesn’t seem to enjoy play
- complains of frequent headaches and stomachaches, but no medical issue has been found
- makes little to no eye contact
- seems unable to communicate his or her needs when compared to children of the same age
- seems nervous or anxious about many situations, compared to other children, affecting peer relations and school attendance
Parents who are hesitant to seek help because they assume such problems will pass – which may prove to be true – risk missing out on key early intervention. Early intervention has shown to reduce risks of more serious outcomes.
BJC Behavioral Health is now scheduling the four-part evaluations, for those who qualify, at the BJC Behavioral Health Kirkwood location. Washington University School of Medicine child psychiatry fellows in their final year of training will conduct these free evaluations along with Dr. Tandon.
Candidates for the program must be younger than age 5 and live in St. Louis County. Call 314.729.4004 for more information.