Do you know that even kids can undergo a mental health illness? Are you aware that there is such a thing as a child psychiatrist? “By carefully evaluating all of a child’s behaviors and emotional symptoms, a child psychiatrist can help parents identify the right combination of interventions for the complexity of the behaviors,” said psychiatrist Steven G. Dickstein, MD. In this article, we are going to focus on the importance of the role that this medical professional performs. We will tackle the different things that this doctor does for the kids who are suffering from autism spectrum disorder (ASD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and other forms of mental health sickness.
Who Is A Child Psychiatrist?
The health professional or doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental disorders in children is called a child psychiatrist. This person is an expert in studying the different factors that cause the behavior or thought disorders of the children involved. At the same time, he also focuses on treating mental health illness through the use of a treatment plan. The plan usually includes prescribing medications for the recovery of the patients.
Where To Find One
Many individuals are engaged in the practice of psychiatry in the United States. However, only a few of them fall under the category of “child psychiatrists.” As such, you may need to exert more effort to search for one. Do not worry because the availability of the Internet makes it easier on your part to conduct online research. All you have to do is to use a web search engine to see the list of child psychiatrists near you.
Another option available on your part is to ask for recommendations or referrals. Some of your friends or family members may know someone who specializes in child psychiatry. Avoid having second thoughts in inquiring from these people. When you do this, you may end up finding the best mental health doctor for kids. “Even so, however appropriate the therapist may seem, there needs to be some fit between patient and therapist; and so, it is reasonable for a prospective patient to try more than one therapist,” says psychiatrist Fredric Neuman M.D. Take your time in searching for one so that you will not commit any mistake or error in the selection process.
What To Do
Once you have chosen the child psychiatrist, the next step is to book an appointment. This is where you will inform the doctor about your interest in meeting him. Be sure to show up on the date and time of the meeting. Keep in mind that a doctor’s time is precious. If you miss the appointment, you could be banned from contacting the doctor’s clinic or moved to a later date, which could take months.
During the consultation stage, the child psychiatrist will usually ask several questions. The inquiries may include finding more information about the family background, history of mental disorder, environmental factors and other related matters. It is your responsibility to participate in the consultation. Be honest in answering the questions that will be asked by the psychiatrist. Giving the wrong information or data could have adverse effects on your kid’s condition. After this stage, the doctor will set the dates for future appointments. The number of sessions and other requirements will depend on the seriousness of the patient’s condition.
“Parenting in general is hard these days. Parenting a child with special needs is often harder,” shares child psychologist Dan Peters Ph.D. If you believe that your child has a mental health problem, then be quick in getting in touch with a child psychiatrist as soon as possible.
Apart from all other concerns of parents who are considering homeschool, succeeding is probably at the top of the list.
It comes as no surprise for parents to acknowledge significantly and be in favor of homeschooling since it has been one of the increasingly popular modes of education for this generation. Parents who have concluded to create a schooling environment inside their homes have recognized the advantages of the alternative educational method. Aside from being personalized, homeschooling is in-depth and more flexible. “Understanding how to successfully use these strategies can be life-changing for anyone tackling challenging academic material,” says Jessica Koehler Ph.D.
However, there are specific issues concerning homeschooling that parents are overly aware of that might overcomplicate and hinder the essential aspects of learning. Therefore, apart from the technical elements of homeschooling, parents must consider this five-step formula to have a more meaningful and fruitful home-based learning system.
Step 1 – Be Realistic
Choose a curriculum and a schedule that would be suitable for you and your children. Parents must learn to take into consideration the different factors in life that might affect their homeschooling plans. When creating a schedule, make sure that it won’t interfere with your responsibilities as a parent and, if you’re working, as an employee.
On the other hand, when choosing a study method, make sure that the course would apply to your children’s capabilities and level of understanding. “Some parents augment their teaching with online learning; others work collaboratively with other parents and community groups to create educational, social, and extracurricular activities for their kids,” according to Dona Matthews Ph.D. Do not get upset when your three-year-old is unable to read while others already can. Remember the main reason why you decided to homeschool your children. More often than not, that reason falls under the special needs category.
Step 2 –Fix Your Schedule
Overscheduling and under-scheduling are one of the main reasons why homeschooling becomes a burden. With overscheduling, parents go beyond what they or their children can handle. Homeschool should make your children feel relaxed not stressed and pressured. Limit subjects taught and activities done for a day.
Under-scheduling is restraining your children to do more. Whatever the reason is for under-scheduling, particular consequences may arise in the future. One is not being able to enjoy activities that can contribute to your children’s growth and development, above all else. Kids require a variety of endeavors that will open up opportunities for them to interact with other homeschoolers. Therefore, outdoor activities like going to museums, support groups, historical sites, and the like, should always be incorporated.
Step 3 –Maintain Organization
Adhering to the plan and going with the schedule is one way of being organized. By creating a smooth flow of events, parents can make their children’s homeschooling experience a more enjoyable, educational, and worthwhile one. Before the school-at-home starts, make sure that you have set the room with specified learning agenda and the inclusion of outdoor activities. More so, always involve your children in organizing their homeschool supplies and environment.
Step 4 –Opt For Breaks
Do not tire yourself to the point of burnout. Always insert breaks in your schedule; breathers that will give you time to refresh and provide your kids their much-deserved resting period before the next subject begins. Aside from quick breaks in between learning sessions, you should also have that one day off where you just enjoy the day with the family without mention of homeschooling and whatnot. By doing so, you are strengthening your bond with your children while recharging yourself for the next homeschool schedule.
Step 5 –Be Open For Change
Accepting the reality that there will be terrible days will keep you open for change regarding schedule, subject, or method. Kids can quickly get distracted, especially those who require special needs. Therefore, do not rely on the curriculum entirely. Besides, it is there to serve as a guide that you can choose to follow in a non-restricting way. You always have to observe if your child is appropriately adapting to the teaching method and if there is a need to remodel or change the concept entirely.
Roadblocks are expected most especially if you’ve never done homeschooling before. There are no uncomplicated ways to handle and foresee everything. Also, you have to recognize that while something might work for one family, it may not work for you.
Success does not happen overnight. It requires complete faith and commitment to the task. More importantly, always listen and observe for cues coming from your children. After all, your kids will primarily determine if the current educational method is working or not.
“A child’s ability to overcome daily challenges are best met when parents, educators, and mental health providers are on the same page,” says Annabella Hagen, LCSW, RPT-S.
There is more than one option to demonstrate homeschool learning to your kids at home. Choosing an appropriate philosophy to follow is possible as well. “Of course every situation is different: the child, the public and private school options, and your ability and motivation to home-school,” says Marty Nemko Ph.D.
The majority of homeschoolers contemplate on the method of learning as comprehensive. Due to flexibility, families have the option to blend and choose various plans that would fit the needs of their children at different stages of their development. For this reason, it’s quite rare for families to conform within the confines of particular learning philosophy. “Homeschooling is not the best option for every family, but there are many benefits to this approach, and it can work very well in some situations,” says child psychologist Dona Matthews Ph.D.
If you are considering homeschooling your children but don’t have any idea of what the learning methods are, here are some of the most common preferences:
The Classical Method
Also called the Socratic Method, the classical learning method is derived from the Trivium. The Trivium is a type of teaching method that follows children’s cognitive developmental phases. These phases consist of an abstract, concrete, and analytical thinking. The majority of the framework focuses on the Latin and Greek languages with the inclusion of literary and philosophical classical pieces.
Stages of the classical method:
Grammar stage – the first stage that lets children focus on the figures and facts
- Logic stage – the second stage that teaches the correlation between specific events along with the cause-effect theory
- Rhetoric stage – the final phase that focuses on students freely expressing their unique thoughts on particular topics through writing and speech
The Traditional Method
Following the concept and structure of a conventional learning system, the traditional method is executed with parents utilizing workbooks, textbooks, and exams to teach and track children’s improvement. A defined area inside the house is mainly designed and dedicated to homeschool hours. Though this may be the first option that a lot of parents might consider since they wanted to emulate a regular school type of environment, homeschooling was created to mainly take the kids from a traditional surroundings to a more personalized one.
The Unschooling Method
Unschooling is the homeschooling equivalent of “I can do whatever I want but in an educational kind of way.” This method of home-based educational philosophy and approach advocates student-preferred activities as the primary basis for learning. Parents who’ve chosen unschooling demonstrate profound trust in their children to acquire morale from day to day experiences without utilizing the formal classes and school itinerary. Children who are unschooled learn science, history, reading, and math by pursuing their curiosities and interests.
While unschooling allows children the liberty of researching abilities and uncovering skills to achieve expertise in their chosen areas, children may find it difficult to cope with assessments if parents have decided to enroll them in a typical school.
The Charlotte Mason Method
Developed by Charlotte Mason in the 1800s, this homeschooling method believes that students are not merely vessels who need to be stuffed with information but are human beings that reserve their right in being respected regarding learning and acquiring knowledge. Mason reiterated that children must be allowed to create, play, and get involved in different real-life scenarios where they can learn and comprehend.
Instead of sticking with textbooks, students who adapt to the Charlotte Mason method are immersed in historical places like art museums where they can get in contact with the actual historical, literary pieces and manuscripts. Students are also introduced to nature by taking hikes and are taught about the universe by going to planetariums.
Homeschooling is not just a home-based replication of a traditional school system because, unlike regular schools, homeschooling can be patented from different sources and materials that parents can use to mold and educate their children. According to Jessica Koehler Ph.D., “Based on decades of scientific studies, we know there are only a handful of techniques that you need to understand to enhance learning in multiple subject areas.” Aside from the abovementioned methods, there are still tons of popular ones that parents can consider. They just need to find what’s the most suitable mode of learning for their kids.
Homeschooling, like parenthood, can be one of two things: a stimulating experience to enhance the mother and child bond, or it could be a stressful undertaking that depletes one’s energy and happiness. According to Dona Matthews Ph.D., “More and more parents are choosing to educate their child at home, or to join with other parents who don’t want to send their children to the local schools.” Either way, homeschooling is a rewarding attempt to educate your children while safeguarding them inside the home.
Does your child have a hard time to write, read, or spell? Do you notice that comprehending subjects like math have always been a struggle? Your child might be struggling with a learning disorder known as dyslexia.
“Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that affects one in every 10 to 20 people, impacting their ability to read and spell words but not affecting their general intelligence. The new finding expands knowledge of the brain mechanisms underlying the condition,” according to Rick Nauert PhD.
More than ever, the 21st century is opening doors for different perspectives, approaches, and methods on how things are done. The traditional way might be comfortable and relaxed, but more and more people are deviating from the norm as long as the benefits are evident.
Take, for instance, food consumption. Industries, then, were focused on the quantity of production without regard for workers’ welfare and harmful effects on the environment. Nowadays, society is trying to connect with their food beyond the palate. There are those who are concerned about the source, the farming methods, workers’ benefits, and carbon footprints.
These types of paradigm shifts are also evident in the educational system. Some education experts are criticizing the education system because it has become irrelevant to the changing times. Many parents were aware of how the traditional education system is incompatible with their children’s need to decide to give homeschooling a try. For those who are seriously considering homeschooling and would like to know basic knowledge about homeschooling, the following are typical concerns of parents thinking to start homeschooling.
Everybody seems to want to join the bandwagon of homeschooling where parents opted to homeschool their children instead of the conventional set up of letting children go to a regular school environment. The reasons for this option may vary from family to family; however, most of them choose to homeschool because of their dissatisfaction with the current educational opportunities. Others have different personal or spiritual beliefs, educational philosophies, or the notion that the traditional school structure isn’t a safe and conducive environment for their child. Homeschooling first gained traction in the 1970s when famous authors like John and Dorothy Holt and Raymond Moore began writing about this particular education reform and suggested to be a different educational decision.
Requirements for Homeschooling
In the US, specific conditions differ from state to state. Depending on what is asked, some will require you to present a portfolio review and standardized testing. A requirement is the dedication of the parents to homeschool their children. This will need equal time preparing for lessons and subjects to discuss. The parent’s patience will be tested when children start to be inquisitive and challenge your capability to provide information. Lastly, parents should acquire the necessary communication skills in teaching their children.
Parent’s Educational Background
If the parent has an educational background or training about homeschooling, this is a plus factor. Nonetheless, in the majority of the areas in the United States, this is not a strict requirement. Some recommend starting homeschooling during school age to have real experience with the classroom environment with teachers and classmates. Once the parents decide to homeschool the child, they will notify the principal and will start the transitional period from school to a home environment. Parents should communicate with the school district concerning the homeschooling program so that they can be provided with directions and proper guidelines.
A Typical Homeschool Day
A schedule is set for lessons to learn, however, there is no fixed time set for a day. This is another advantage of homeschooling because the child learns according to their own pace without the pressure of time and expectations. Every child has their learning style, thus in homeschooling, the schedule and topics to be learned are designed per individual.
Education is a never-ending process of acquiring knowledge, learning new skills, and enhancing one’s relationships. Through homeschooling, parents are comfortable that they are giving this privilege and particular attention to their child and ensuring their safety as well
Before you say anything else, do your homework.
Whenever someone says something inaccurate or unintellectual about a specific topic, don’t you just want to groan endlessly and roll your eyes out? First of all, how dare they say something they have absolutely no idea whatsoever. And second, how credible are they for uttering such dense comments or opinions?
Having a predictable homeschool routine might seem unappealing and boring, but it is considered to be one of the most effective characteristics of homeschooling.
Traditional education is the only option people have a few decades back but thanks to educators who realize that there is no one size fits all regarding learning and teaching. Homeschooling came about because it was an alternative for children as well as the families with needs and lifestyles incompatible with the demands and schedule of the typical school. If the child started out with a public or private school with a standardized curriculum, then preparation and commitment are needed to ensure a smooth transition.
Preparation of the Withdrawal
Before anything else, check the legal necessities before beginning with the homeschooling. Every state has its regulations and requirements. Twenty-four states require the child to follow some periodic assessment of their knowledge either through standardized testing or portfolio review. In standardized testing, logistics can be arranged through local public schools or independently. While in a portfolio review, a certified teacher evaluates and approves the collection of a child’s output which may include writing samples, math tests, reading lists, and science experiments. You will need to save an example of your child’s work if the state you are in requires a portfolio review.
Include the expenses of homeschooling.
Homeschooling is not free like public education. It will entail the use of resources such as time, effort and money. The parents will be solely responsible for providing school supplies, books, online curricular purchases, materials, so much more. Also, factor in these costs in the monthly family budget as well as the family’s financial capacity.
Inform local school officials and teachers.
While all states do not require it for parents to inform about their plan to homeschool their child, it is best to exit the educational system with courtesy and with good relations with the administration and staff of the school. Be honest about your reasons for switching and ask for some advice they might be willing to share because after all, you will now be the primary educator of your child. Maintaining a good relationship with your school is vital especially if you want to include your child in the school’s extracurricular activities.
Gather the child’s record.
If the child is in public school for a few years, the district will have a file containing his medical and academic record. You will want to retrieve this pertinent information to make sure that it will not get lost when you withdraw your child. Also, it will give you an overview of your child’s education experience. Gaining insight from this will also aid you in the actual homeschooling settings.
Thoroughly discuss homeschooling with your child.
This is one of the most critical steps. Make sure you are not bribing, threatening or brainwashing your child in choosing to homeschool over the typical classroom setting. If the decision of homeschooling is not a matter of option, but as a necessity for whatever reason it may be, provide an open environment for the child to ask for clarifications, explanation, and aspects to ponder on regarding the change to homeschooling.
Research and explore different homeschooling options.
There are numerous teaching methods and curriculum available for homeschooling. Reflect and analyze your child’s preferences and learning styles in picking the processes of education for the child.