Constantly in action, it is not always easy to know when a child experiences temporary difficulties and when these difficulties become a disorder. Here are the main differences between a difficulty and a disorder in order to help you know when it would be relevant to refer a child to a professional.
- A difficulty is usually temporary and is often related to specific situations or stressors (eg, moving, a divorce, a death, a medical problem, a more demanding developmental period, the presence of stressors in the environment, etc.).
- The difficulty may be a delay in terms of language, development or learning. In addition, problems of concentration, memory, behavior, motivation and academic difficulties can be observed.
- If children who have difficulties are detected early enough, it is possible to intervene quickly without any long-term consequences.
- The child with a difficulty will present a good response to the intervention and its problem will be resolved.
- The disorder is a condition whose diagnostic criteria are established. The disorders are found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
- The disorder is persistent over time (at least 6 months).
- When a child has a disorder, interventions are often more intensive and/or more frequent. This requires more attention, support and empathy from adults and the environment.
- The disorder alters the functioning of the child in daily life.
If despite your interventions, the difficulties of the child persist, it is possible that he suffers from a disorder. A professional can evaluate him and suggest an individualized and personalized intervention plan.
Check with management or directly with our professionals to learn more.
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