Common Childhood Issues

Does your child suffer from any of the following?

Anxiety Disorder

Common symptoms are:

  • School refusal
  • Distress when separated from parent
  • Social withdrawal and timidity
  • Pervasive worry and fearfulness
  • Restless sleep and nightmares


Common symptoms are:

  • Ongoing sadness, irritability
  • Loss of interest in friends, toys and activities
  • Loss of energy and concentration
  • Loss of weight or appetite
  • Deterioration in school work
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harming

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Common symptoms are:

  • Fear of dirt or germs
  • Fear of illness or getting hurt
  • Compulsions to clean or put things in order
  • Compulsion to count, hoard or touch things

Being Bullied at School

Common symptoms are:

  • Afraid to go to school
  • Complaining of aches and pains
  • Lost interest or started to do less well at school
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleeping problems
  • Appears anxious or depressed

Behavioural Problems

(Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder)
Common symptoms are:

  • Easily angered, annoyed or irritated
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Argues with adults
  • Aggressive towards animals and other people
  • Low self-esteem
  • Blames others for misdeeds
  • Refusal to obey parents/teachers
  • Lack of empathy
  • Frequent lying
  • Difficulty concentrating/forgets things
  • Never completes a task
  • Talks over the top of others
  • Restlessness and fidgeting

ADHD (Inattentive and/or Hyperactive)

Common Symptoms for Inattentive ADHD may include some of the following:

  1. Does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
  2. Has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities
  3. Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  4. Does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace
  5. Has trouble organising activities
  6. Avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework)
  7. Loses things needed for tasks and activities (such as toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)
  8. Easily distracted
  9. Forgetful in daily activities

Common Symptoms for Hyperactivity/Impulsivity may include some of the following:

  1. Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
  2. Gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected
  3. Runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate
  4. Has trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly
  5. "On the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor"&
  6. Talks excessively
  7. Blurts out answers before questions have been finished
  8. Has trouble waiting one's turn
  9. Interrupts or intrudes on others

Learning Difficulties

Learning disabilities are characterised by a significant difference in the child’s achievement in some areas, as compared to his or her overall intelligence. The student may have some of these difficulties:

  • Problems with reading comprehension
  • Delays in speaking and listening
  • Difficulty performing arithmetic functions and understanding basic concepts
  • Difficulty with reading writing and spelling
  • Difficulty organising and integrating thought
  • Poor organisation skills

Talented and Gifted

Common symptoms are:

  • Fast recall of information
  • Knows a lot more about some topics than other same aged children
  • Uses advanced vocabulary
  • Began to read and write easily
  • Displays intense interest and enjoyment when learning new things
  • Has good understanding, and can teach others
  • Comfortable around adults
  • Shows leadership qualities
  • Is resourceful and improvises well
  • Uses imaginative methods to accomplish tasks

Parenting Challenges

Common symptoms are:

  • Your child refuses to do as they are told
  • Temper tantrums and angry outbursts
  • Hurting siblings or other children
  • Refuses to go to bed when asked/or sleep in own bed
  • School refusal
  • Damaging toys, property
  • Aggression
  • Lying
  • Shouting and poor attitude
  • Whining and crying

Autism Spectrum (now includes Asperger's)

Common symptoms are:

  • Your child has difficulty with communication
  • Delayed developmental milestones, particularly speech
  • Difficulty making or maintaining friendships or socially
  • Difficulty understanding how others feel/empathy
  • Isolated or repetitive play
  • Take language literally
  • Obsessional behaviour and rituals
  • Tantrums
  • Sensory sensitivity
  • Flapping arms or toe walking
  • Differences in communication (eg. formal style)
  • Avoid eye contact
  • Fewer or obsessive interests
  • one sided conversations about favourite topics
  • Normal language and intellectual development or variable language development

NB: This list is not exhaustive and doesn't describe all childhood problems. Your child may exhibit one or two of these behaviours, so it is worth following up with a psychologist, your GP or paediatrician.