A functional behavioural assessment is the first step in coming up with a behavioural support program that works for your child and your family. It is not a medical diagnosis and it doesn’t provide a pre-packaged plan for how to address challenging behaviours, but it is a tool for helping you, your family and the professionals who work with you to assess the causes of common behavioural problems and then to work towards creating an environment that supports the needs of your child.
A functional behavioural assessment can help you discover what to do next and relieve some of the stress of raising your child. If there is concern about behaviours, we will be able to advise you on your next steps, which can include behavioural therapy, cognitive therapy or medication as options for treatment.
Medication should only be used after all other possibilities have been exhausted, and is typically prescribed by your paediatrician, family physician, psychiatrist or neurologist.
It is my strong belief that a number of things must be ruled out before an ADHD diagnosis should be made, and this is where testing can be helpful. First, anxiety can look like ADHD. Many children are so full of anxiety that they cannot stay focused in school. Many children who present with symptoms of ADHD have learning difficulties which affect their ability to stay focused, stay on task, follow instructions and express themselves. A learning assessment and anxiety assessment is a helpful when assessing children with behavioural difficulties.
Useful workshops to consider: Emotion Coaching – Flexible approach to managing children’s behaviour
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