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Identifying Children with Mental Health Challenges
• How severe is the behavior?
• How many weeks or months has the behavior been occurring?
• How long does the behavior last (e.g., minutes, hours)?
• How does the behavior compare with the behavior of other children of the same age?
• Are there events at home or in child care that make the behavior better or worse?
u Are there cultural factors influencing the behavior?
• What has the child learned about relationships or consequences based on past experiences?
Behaviors that may indicate emotional or mental health problems in Infants and Toddlers
• • Displays very little emotion
• • Does not show interest in sights sounds or touch
• • Rejects or avoids being touched or held or playing with others
• • Unusually difficult to soothe or console
• • Unable to comfort or calm self
• • Extremely fearful or on-guard
• • Does not turn to familiar adults for comfort or help
• • Exhibits sudden behavior changes
• Sleeping and feeding issues
• Delays in meeting developmental milestones
Behaviors that may indicate emotional or mental health problems in Preschool Children
• • Cannot or has trouble playing with others or objects
• • Absence of language or communication
• • Frequently fights with others
• • Very sad
• • Unusually fearful
• • Inappropriate responses to situations (e.g., laughs instead of cries)
• • Withdrawn
• • Extremely active
• • Loss of earlier skills (e.g., toileting, language, motor)
• • Sudden behavior changes
• • Very accident prone
• • Destructive to self and/or others
• Sleeping issues
• Being asked to leave a daycare or preschool setting due to behaviors. (losing placements in these programs)