Child Behavior Expert Forum
Children's Behavioral Health Specialist
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Children's Behavioral Health Specialist

I have 4 children 9, 5, 21 months and 5 months.  When my 21 month old was younger(about 10-12 months ago) she got angry, held her breath and passed out.  We went to the hospital, had every test we could, and all checked out fine.  She recently did it again and our PCP recomended a Behavioral Health Specialist citing her lack of/underdeveloped coping mechanism and the tempertantrums/screaming he has witnessed in the office. Granted the child can be a handful, screams a lot and is very demanding.  If you do not give her what she wants she will throw a fit and scream until she gets it but I am not so sure that someone like a Behavioral Health Specialist needs to be involved.  Her speech is pretty much where it should be, she plays with other children and is sweet to them.  She understands what we are saying most of the time and is usually able to get across what she is asking for.  She is on a normal schedule and will nap and go to bed fine.   When I think of Behavioral Health Specialist I think of ADHD and Autism whereas this seems like a combination of middle child, lots of upheaval in the house (we had to move out of our house to do work on it and just moved back after five months, and the begining of terrible twos.  How do you see this and can you expand a little on the role of Behavioral Health Specialists in the development of children?  I do not want to hinder the development of my child but at the sametime this is the 3rd child I have seen two other children at this point and they were pretty similar.
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It's no wonder your are skeptical about consulting with a Behavioral Health clinician if you view the role of such a person as dealing with conditions such as autism. While such specialists do indeed address matters such as ADHD and autism-spectrum disorders, they deal with a wide range of other issues as well. In my thirty-five years of clinical practice, the most frequent reason (by far) for parents contacting me is to discuss children's everyday behavior, even in the context of overall normal development. In other words, it's perfectly sensible and appropriate to talk with a behavioral Health clinician about managing childhood behavior, even if there is not the presence of menatl or emotional disorder. I think the guidance you received from the PCP is very prudent.
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I believe a child behavorial specialist would probably just help you deal with her when she is doing this. A person who diagnosis a ADHD or Austism Spectrum Disorder child would be a Child Development Pediatrician or a Child Psychologist.
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My questions was more about the fact that I dont know much about behavioral health clinicians and I was interested in learning more about them and whether they have started being added into cases that use to be thought of as the "terrible twos" or middle child cases.  Thanks for your response Dr. Kennedy


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