While these indications are not diagnostic by themselves, a child exhibiting even a few of these characteristics may need to be seen by a specialist. If you are in doubt at all, the chances are that your child needs an assessment.
- Tearful, weepy, sad.
- Excessive fears for his/her age.
- Worry a lot: About the past, future, competence, approval, family finances.
- Excessive worry in terms of intensity, frequency, and duration.
- Plummeting self-esteem i.e. ‘I hate myself.’ ‘I’m so stupid.’
- Unusual sensitivity towards pets and animals.
- Low energy. Persistent boredom. Social isolation.
- Loss of interest or enjoyment in favourite activities.
- Excessively sensitive towards loss (family pet, death of a grand parent).
- Anger out of proportion with the circumstances.
- Bouts of Rage
- ‘It’s your fault’. It’s always the other kid’s fault, or the teacher or you.
- Self-righteous (can never see the other person’s point of view). He/she is always right and everyone else is always wrong.
- Rigid and inflexible (an attempt to gain control and freeze things in the present moment).
- An attraction towards power in the physical world: i.e. fire, guns, knives, chemistry, electronics, war etc.
- Living with a time bomb, walking on eggshells, very irritable.
- Talk of running away from home or attempts to do so.
- Perfectionist, obsessive drive to be the best.
- Extreme difficulty losing a game. Extreme sensitivity to failure.
- Frequent erasing of written work.
- Fussy re: socks and/or underwear.
- Sensitive to noise, light, taste of food, and smells, less sensitive to cold and pain.
- Does not want to go to school. Refuses to go to school.
- Difficulty with transitions or change.
- Rituals –often preceding a transition, it makes them feel safe.
- Frequent physical complaints: –headache, stomachache, aches and pains.
- Victim/bully issues.
- Eating/sleeping problems. Difficulty getting to sleep/staying asleep/waking too early. Excessive late night TV.
- Blurts out in class.
- Learning Disability or gifted.
- Inability to concentrate leading to poor performance in school and frequent absences.
- Drop in school grades of 10 – 20 %.
- Extreme difficulty with homework.
- Difficulty with multi-step requests or tasks.
- Lack of motivation with school work, but very good at computers or electronics.
Reviewed by M. Kodsi, M.D., Child and Family Psychiatrist.