Child Development & Learning

Child Psychology

Clinical Child Psychology

Clinical child psychology is a specialty in professional psychology that develops and applies scientific knowledge to the delivery of psychological services to infants, toddlers, children and adolescents within their social context?

Problems Addressed

  • Biological vulnerabilities.
  • Significant mental disorders.
  • Cognitive deficits
  • Trauma and loss.
  • Educational issues.
  • Stress and coping related to developmental change.
  • Problems in social context.

Skills and Procedures Utilized

  • Assessment (e.g., psychological, intellectual, cognitive, behavioural testing and evaluation).
  • Intervention (e.g., psychotherapy and behaviour management).
  • Development of prevention programs (e.g., bullying, addictions, teen pregnancy).
  • Consultation with other professionals working with children.

Population Served

    Infants, toddlers, children and adolescents displaying a variety of psychological, behavioural, developmental, academic, family, peer and health-related difficulties in a variety of settings.

Intellectual Giftedness

Intellectual giftedness is an intellectual ability significantly higher than average. Giftedness is a trait that starts at birth and continues throughout the life-span.

Giftedness is not a marker of success, but rather of aptitude or the inherent ability to learn.

Gifted children often develop asynchronously; their minds are often ahead of their physical growth, and specific cognitive and emotional functions are often at different stages of development. Gifted individuals also experience the world differently, resulting in unique social and emotional issues.

Some research suggests that gifted children have greater psychomotor, sensual, imaginative, intellectual, and emotional "overexcitabilities". (Science Daily)

Gifted with Learning Problems?

Gifted children can have learning problems that may turn out to be learning disabilities. Learning disabilities are best addressed as early as possible, before they become major problems that may affect your child’s self-esteem and progress at school.

Occupational Therapy for Child Development

Purpose: Providing accessible and quality occupational therapy service to children, their family / whanau, education and/or care providers. Our aim is to help every child maximise their potential and have a better quality of life.

This is achieved through:

Assessment – Gaining an understanding of your child’s abilities and challenges. Expert observational, specialist and standardised assessments will be used.

Interventions – Building the capacity of your child at home, school, community and other environments that are important to your family/whanau with an individualised approach.

Education – Supporting you to understand your child’s unique sensory, developmental and occupational challenges and needs.

Occupational Therapy will provide you and your child with:

  • Current evidenced based practice.
  • Ability to assess and work with a wide range of difficulties and challenges.
  • A child and family centred approach.
  • A trauma informed, sensory based approach
  • Achievable and sustainable programmes and strategies.
  • Education, individualised and group therapy sessions.
  • Skill development and goal achievement.

Sensory Assessment

A Sensory assessment would consist of assessing your child’s responses to sensory events in daily life. It would also give an understanding of the frequency of your child’s responses to certain sensory processing, modulation, and behavioural/emotional events. Sensory processing issues can impact a child’s social skills. It can also cause difficulties in the classroom.

Where and how is it completed?

The Sensory assessment is an assessment that can take place in clinic, at home or in school. It will be completed by an occupational therapist by completing a standardised assessment, checklists and expert observations.

Your child may need a Sensory assessment if the following challenges are identified:

Below is a list of some the common challenges that are suitable for a Sensory assessment:

  • Easily distracted, cannot concentrate.
  • Clumsy and uncoordinated.
  • Over sensitive to sights, sounds, textures, flavours, smells and/or other input.
  • Difficulty holding / lifting objects.
  • Struggles to identify change in temperature.
  • Regular excessive meltdowns.
  • Trouble with personal space.
  • Taking excessive risks during activities.
  • Avoiding certain sensations / environments / people.

What skills are affected by sensory processing issues?

For kids with sensory processing issues, dealing with sensory information can be frustrating and confusing. Here’s how it can affect certain skills.

  • Resistance to change and trouble focusing.
  • Problems with motor skills.
  • Poor body awareness.
  • Lack of social skills.
  • Poor self-control / very impulsive.
  • Unable to complete certain activities that other kids at the same age level can.

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