by a child and adolescent psychiatrist is appropriate for
any child or adolescent with emotional or behavioral problems.
Most children and adolescents with serious emotional and behavioral
problems need a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation.
psychiatric evaluations usually require several hours over
one or more office visits for the child, parents and family.
With the parents' permission, other significant people (such
as the family physician, school personnel or other relatives)
may be contacted for additional information.
evaluation frequently includes the following:
of present problems and symptoms;
about health, illness and treatment (both physical and psychiatric);
and family histories;
about the child's development;
about school and friends;
about family relationships;
interview of the child or adolescent;
needed, laboratory studies such as blood tests, x-rays,
or special assessments (for example, psychological, educational,
speech and language evaluation).
and adolescent psychiatrist then develops a formulation. The
formulation describes the child's problems and explains them
in terms that the parents and child can understand. Biological,
psychological and social parts of the problem are combined
in the formulation with the developmental needs, history and
strengths of the child or adolescent.
made available to answer the parents' and child's questions.
often come to such evaluations with many concerns, including:
my child normal? Am I normal? Am I to blame?
I silly to worry?
you help us? Can you help my child?
my child need treatment? Do I need treatment?
is wrong? What is the diagnosis?
are your recommendations? How can the family help?
will treatment cost, and how long will it take?
are often worried about how they will be viewed during the
evaluation. The child and adolescent psychiatrist is there
to support the family and to be a partner, not to judge or
blame. They listen to concerns, and help the child or adolescent
and his/her family define the short and long-term goals of
the evaluation. Parents should always ask for explanations
of words or terms they do not understand.
treatable problem is identified, recommendations are provided
and a specific treatment plan is developed. Child and adolescent
psychiatrists are specifically trained and skilled in conducting
comprehensive psychiatric evaluations with children, adolescents
#52 Updated 11/95