There are many reasons that parents may receive a referral to a psychologist for their child. If your child’s doctor referred you to us, it is because he or she feels strongly that the answers, information and solutions we can provide will benefit your child.
Psychologists and therapists are specialists in many things that can help parents help their child past some of the “bumps in the road” they encounter, as they are growing up.
Your pediatrician may have suggested a visit with a psychologist to:
- Help your physician more completely assess a learning, attention or emotional problem
- Use data about average performance to assess your child’s abilities, by his age or grade
- Be more objective in deciding how to help improve your child’s performance
- Look “under the hood” at your child’s emotional issues that he or she can’t explain
- Help you develop creative, effective approaches to help get cooperation from your child
While symptom checklists and parent or teacher reports may point to the possibility of such a problem, having more data, especially data that compares your child’s strengths and weaknesses with averages for children of the same age and sex, allows the assessment to be more objective.
Many common problems can cause the same or similar symptoms. For example, a child who has difficulty paying attention in class could have ADHD, but could also have problems with anxiety, or problems processing certain kinds of information, or could have a learning or memory problem. It may not be easy to determine which of these is actually causing the difficulty being observed, and children especially may have difficulty discerning, identifying and explaining what the problem is.
Also, a psychologist often has training and experience in different approaches to discipline, increasing motivation, handling feelings constructively, dealing with teasing and bullying, and many other areas that can help parents to help their children cope with problems. Our skills include “parent coaching” in which we help parents can learn about (and practice) approaches that they might not have tried, or even heard of. Often parents will use similar ways of disciplining all of the children, which work well - with all but one of them! Trying something different may be the key to helping your child (and the whole family) have a better and more satisfying life.
We appreciate the confidence your doctor has in referring you to us. With your permission, we will keep your doctor informed about your child’s progress as we work with you to improve his or her academic, emotional or interpersonal functioning.