Managing Your Child's Behaviour
Are you are worried about your child’s behaviour? Does your child seem more distressed or angry than other children of their age, or is your child not following instructions as you would expect for a child of their age? There are a number of people you can talk to for advice.
Your child’s age and stage are important in what you consider to be ‘normal’ for a child, so make sure you read the sections that are meant for your child’s age group. The information below is to help you understand what factors may be affecting your child’s behaviour, and how you can help them to manage their own behaviour and be happier and calmer as a result.
Children who are under 5 or are school aged
Children who are distressed and frustrated may be having difficulty understanding what is going on around them, or have difficulty being able to communicate their needs. Delayed language development is the most common reason for children’s challenging behaviour, and can be caused by a number of reasons.
If your child has a lot of coughs and colds they may have ‘glue ear’ which means that some of the mucous from a cold is stuck behind their ear drum. This can mean they cannot always clearly hear what is said to them. You cannot help this by cleaning a child’s ear, so it is important that their ears are checked by doctor.
If your child is under the age of 5 years, you can talk to your health visitor or GP about your concerns and they will refer you to someone who can help. If they are over 5 years old you can speak to a person at your child’s school called a Special Educational Needs Officer (SENCO), your School Nurse or your GP.
You may be referred to audiology for a hearing check, or to a Speech and Language Therapist who will meet you and your child and assess their language development and give you advice. If you would like to speak to a Speech and language Therapist directly you can contact them directly (Speech and Language Therapy).
You child may be referred to the Child Development Centre at St Ann’s Hospital for a development check (external link). The check is usually done by a Consultant Paediatrician who will be looking for developmental reasons behind any difficulties your child may be having. The doctor will check for a range of more common developmental difficulties and talk you through their findings.
If your child has significant difficulties with their communication and behaviour, and this is affecting them at nursery or school, your nursery or school can ask for some extra help with managing their needs. The person to speak to is the Special Needs Co-ordinator, who will be able to discuss with you how the nursery or school can help. The nursery or school may ask for advice from staff from the Inclusion Team if your child is under 5 years, Educational Psychology or from Speech and Language Therapy. If your child has difficulties with their learning and language, your child may be referred to the Language Support Team.
In some cases, if your child has had a diagnosis of Autism for instance, the nursery or school can ask for help in meeting your child’s needs by asking to speak to the Advisory Teacher for Autism.
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