Your Child’s Psychiatric Evaluation: What to Expect and How to Prepare
- Posted on: Apr 15 2019
As a parent, you may be confronted with memories of your own childhood time and time again. When your child needs to see the doctor or dentist, you may recall the uneasy feelings you encountered when you entered the clinical office as a young person. If your child has been referred to a psychiatrist, those same feelings may occur and may be coupled with confusion about why your child needs a psychiatric evaluation, what to expect, and what the future may hold for your child and your family.
Please set your mind at ease. Seeing a child psychiatrist like Dr. Stull will provide you with education, clarity, compassion, and a renewed sense of hope. Learning more about the details of your child’s psychiatric evaluation to help you feel more prepared for your visit.
What is a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation?
A physician, therapist, school counselor, or other professional may recommend a psychiatric evaluation for a child to help the family and child gain an understanding of behavioral, emotional, or developmental symptoms. Parents may also elect to schedule an evaluation for their child as a way to decipher the underlying cause of ongoing concerns or challenges. The evaluation lays the groundwork for the development of the treatment plan. Some of the common reasons a psychiatric evaluation may be sought include:
- Declining academic performance
- School refusal
- Anxiety demonstrated as excessive fear and apprehension to engage in usual activities
- Frequent complaints of stomach aches or pain
- Recurrent or frequent nightmares
- Severe mood swings
- Increased irritability
- Increased isolation
- Sleep disturbances such as chronic fatigue or insomnia
- Difficulty relating to others
These are just a few of the behaviors that may indicate a psychiatric concern in a child or teen. A psychiatric evaluation evaluates current behaviors in relation to the educational, cognitive, social, environmental, physical, and genetic aspects of the child’s life.
the Psychiatric Evaluation
Parents and children alike can feel more at ease knowing what to expect from their visit with a child psychiatrist.
The initial visit focuses on getting to know one another. Dr. Stull will discuss with parents and/or the child the type and extent of the current challenges they are facing. A medical and mental health history will also be discussed. The format of the initial visit will differ based on the child’s age and particular situation. Very young children may rely more on a parent to help them convey their challenges, whereas older children and teens also benefit from a one-on-one conversation. Dr. Stull works closely with parents. Mental health treatment may be focused on a child or teen, but it involves a team effort and the family plays a critical role in healing.
The conversation may cover topics such as:
- Details of current behaviors (what they are, when they happen, the severity of behaviors)
- Any and all physical or psychiatric symptoms
- Medical and developmental history
- Relationships with others
- Personal and family history related to mental health
To complement the initial consultation, blood tests are often ordered. Additional screenings (speech and language assessment, pharmacogenomic testing, neuropsychiatric assessment), and specialized referrals (sleep study, endocrinology, gastroenterology), are recommended as needed.
We are here to help you. For additional questions, scheduling assistance, or more information about my services, contact the Burr Ridge, IL office at 630-325-4899.
Posted in: Psychiatric Evaluation