(One minute read)
It is very tempting to start therapy or behavioral/social skills training with a student once we hear a list of symptoms that seem to fit the bill for these services. However, as tempting as it is, it is MORE important to rule out any medical illnesses first.
I remember a seven-year-old student of mine having trouble falling asleep and then waking up throughout the night. I was very excited to use Dr. Ortiz’s bedtime program. However, fortunately for her wise parents, they decided to first have her see an ENT specialist, especially since she was also congested 24/7/365. Literally.
The Reminder is worth repeating…..
The doctor’s report? She needed to have her adenoids removed, as enlarged adenoids can cause a constantly running nose and sleep apnea, among other symptoms. She had a procedure shortly thereafter, and guess what happened? The sleeping problem resolved itself. Completely. And her congestion cleared up, too. There was no need for any other therapy or behavioral treatment to solve the bedtime problem.
When a child suddenly presents with a new behavioral problem that was never in her repertoire before or there is a drastic change in her behavior, whether you are working with the child as a teacher, social skills educator, or therapist, call the parents and find out if anything changed or if the child is possibly sick. Don’t punish the child. Yet.
If you are seeing the child for the first time, ask questions regarding medical history to make sure that a medical illness is not causing the behavior problem. Of course, go ahead and do the behavioral/social skills program once you are relatively certain that there is no medical cause for the presenting problem.
Have a fabulous and successful week!!