Children and adolescents

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 and Parenting Challenges

Common issues are:

  • Emotion regulation
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Difficulties following instructions
  • Temper tantrums and angry outbursts
  • Hurting siblings or other children
  • School refusal
  • Damaging toys, property
  • Aggression
  • Lying
  • Shouting and poor attitude
  • Whining and crying
  • Easily angered, annoyed or irritated
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Argues with adults
  • Low self-esteem
  • Blames others for misdeeds
  • Lack of empathy
  • Talks over the top of others

ADHD (Inattentive and/or Hyperactive)

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

  • Does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
  • Has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities
  • Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • Does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace
  • Has trouble organising activities
  • 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)
  • Loses things needed for tasks and activities (such as toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)
  • Easily distracted
  • Forgetful in daily activities

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

  • Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
  • Gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected
  • Runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate
  • Has trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly
  • "On the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor" 
  • Talks excessively
  • Blurts out answers before questions have been finished
  • Has trouble waiting one's turn
  • 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


Autism Spectrum (now includes Aspergers)

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
  • Meltdowns or shutdowns
  • 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
  • Typical 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.