Navigation Link

1215 South Walnut Ave.
Demopolis, AL 36732 map map 

Access to Care: 800.239.2901

Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Basic Information

Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses

Children are precious; As parents we worry about their health. When our children have issues and crises, these issues and crises affect us just as much, if not more, than it affects them. We fear that which might bring them fear; we hurt when we see them hurt; and sometimes, we cry just seeing them cry. Writer Elizabeth Stone once said "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." So, when it seems like something is not quite right with your children - perhaps they seem more afraid than other kids, or they seem to get a lot angrier than their playmates do over certain things - this odd or "off" behavior can be experienced as terrifying. In fact, a child's difficulty can be just the starting point for your parental worry and concern. You might not know what to do to help your child, or where to go for help. Possibly, you may worry because you don't even know if your child's problem is somethi...

Fast Facts: Learn! Fast!

What Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses can children be affected by?

  • Intellectual disabilities are a specific type of disability that is caused by limited mental capacity (intelligence). These limitations make it difficult for someone to care for themselves without additional support.
  • Children that appear to have extremely poor coordination that interferes with achievement or age-appropriate activities of daily living (e.g., walking, playing catch, etc) may be suffering from a Motor Skills Disorder.
  • Children or adolescents may be diagnosed with a Learning Disorder when their achievement on standardized tests in reading, mathematics, or written expression is significantly below what is expected for their age, schooling, or level of intelligence.
  • Communication Disorders are problems of childhood that affect learning, language, and/or speech.
  • A child who demonstrates severe and persistent difficulties in several areas of development (social interactions, language and communication, repetitive and stereotypical behavior) may be affected by a Pervasive Development Disorder.
  • Children who have chronic difficulties in maintaining attentional focus, completing work, being impulsive, or repeatedly engage in antisocial behaviors such as lying and cheating may have one or more Attention-Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders. The disorders in this category include Conduct Disorder, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
  • Disorders in the "Feeding and Eating Disorders of Infancy or Early Childhood" category include Pica, Rumination Disorder, and Feeding Disorder of Infancy or Early Childhood. 
  • Elimination disorders (Enuresis and Encopresis) occur when children who are otherwise old enough to eliminate waste appropriately repeatedly void feces or urine in inappropriate places or at inappropriate times.
  • Selective Mutism occurs when a child persistently fails to speak in certain social situations where speaking is expected.
  • Children and adolescents affected by Separation Anxiety Disorder become severely distressed when separated from their familiar surroundings and caregivers.
  • In Reactive Attachment Disorder, children develop abnormal relationships with caregivers that are described, in the language of the DSM criteria for the disorder as either Inhibited or Disinhibited.
  • Children with Stereotypic Movement Disorder can't seem to stop themselves from engaging in repetitive, and seeming nonfunctional motor behavior.
  • Tic Disorders are diagnosed when people have chronic (i.e., repeated across time) motor and vocal tics that interfere with their daily activities.

For more information

Latest News
Prevalence of Autism Seems to Be Stabilizing in U.S. Children, Teens
U.S. Autism Rates May Be Stabilizing
Neuroanatomic Abnormalities ID'd in Those at Risk for Autism
Treatment Trajectories Vary for Children With Depression
Peer Review Policy Cuts Atypical Antipsychotic Use in Children
Researchers Learn More About Gender's Role in Autism Risk
Genetics a Cause of Autism in Most Cases: Study
Parents Say Schools Don't Help Kids With Mental Health, Chronic Disease
CBT, SSRIs Effectively Cut Anxiety Symptoms in Childhood
Back to School, Back to Planning for Kids With Autism, ADHD
Depression, Anxiety May Affect Bone Metabolism in Older Teens
Therapy for Kids With Autism Pays Off for Moms, Dads
ADHD Rx Associated With a Lower Risk for Alcohol, Drug Abuse
Why People With Autism Avoid Eye Contact
Communication Problems Not at Root of Tantrums in Kids With Autism
No Proof Special Diets, Supplements Work for Autism
Could a Century-Old Drug Help Ease Autism Symptoms?
Special Diets, Supplements for Autism Still a Question Mark
Program Helps Young Adults With Autism Find Jobs
Tracking Devices May Ease Minds of Parents of Kids With Autism
Young Adults With Autism Need Help Managing Money: Study
Autism Greatly Boosts Kids' Injury Risk, Especially for Drowning
Could a Blood Test Spot Autism in Childhood?
Experimental Test Can Spot Autism in Infancy
Brain Differences Hint at Why Autism Is More Common in Males
For Kids, Regular Exercise Seems to Put Depression on the Run
Microbiota Transfer Therapy Could Help Children With Autism
Kids With ADHD Make 6.1 Million Doctor Visits a Year in U.S.: CDC
Guideline Changes Have Asperger's Community on Edge
Harmless Brain Abnormalities in Kids Pose Disclosure Dilemmas
Questions and Answers
New Genetic Tools to Treat Autism and Pediatric Neurological Disorders
What Is Asperger's?
Autism Early Intervention
Minority Children May Miss Autism Diagnosis
Autism and Minorities
FYI on ADHD Evaluations
Teaching Grit, Perseverance and Frustration Tolerance to Students with ADHD
Does my Child Have ADHD?
The Role of Psychotropic Medication in Children’s Mental Health
Catching Autism Early
The World of Autism PSA
Screening for Depression in Kids
Learning the Signs of Autism
What is Autism?
Recognizing OCD
Creating the Best Learning Environment for Students with ADHD
Department of Education Guidance Broadens Understanding of 504 Rights for Kids with ADHD Part II
Talking About Child Mental Health: A Strategic Approach to Communications
Kids and Depression
Childhood Bipolar Disorder
Understanding Bipolar Disorder in Children
The Perils of Adolescence
Autism: The Whys of Increased Prevalence
ADHD: Signs, Symptoms, Research
Children and Parents in the Age of Medication
Focus on ADHD
Autism & Asperger's: What's The Difference?
Screening for Signs of Autism
My Child Won't Eat: Diagnosing Pediatric Feeding Disorders
Beyond the Data -- Autism Spectrum Disorder
10 Common Warning Signs of a Mental Health Condition in Teens and Young Adults
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Finding Effective Mental Health Treatment for Children
Treating Childhood OCD
Treating Youth with Bipolar Disorder
Treating Tourette Syndrome
Treating Autism
Treating Depression in Youth
Medication Treatment for ADHD
Treating Childhood ADHD
Treating Youth Anxiety and Social Phobia
5 Ways Technology Can Complement Mental Health Services
Autism Jargon: Pica
Is Asperger’s Included in the DSM5?
Overcoming Anxiety in Children and Teens
How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime
How the Diagnosis of Autism Helps Us Learn More About Autism
Breaking the Silence, Breaking the Cycle Honoring Youth Voices
A Frontline to ADHD
Interview: Sleep Disorders: Caryn, Mom of Riley
Sleep Problems in Kids
Advice on Telling Your Teen they have ASD
Understanding Girls with ADHD
What is ADHD?
School Anxiety! Activities To Help Kids and Teens Manage It
Social Intervention Helps Adults With Autism
Childhood Apraxia of Speech: Information for Parents
"Crazy" Girl– On Surviving and Thriving with Mental Illness
Speech and Language Disorders
Overview of possible causes and types of problems in speech development
Autism Signs
Common Childhood Illnesses & Immunizations
Managing Anxiety in Youth: More Action Than Talk
Irritability in Children - How Parents Can Help
Altering the Course: First Episode Psychosis Intervention
Psychosis in Youth: Risk Factors and Treatments
Book Reviews
Basic Information
Introduction to Disorders of ChildhoodIntellectual DisabilitiesMotor Skills DisordersLearning DisordersCommunication DisordersAutism and Pervasive Developmental DisordersADHD and Disruptive Behavior DisordersFeeding and Elimination DisordersAnxiety DisordersReactive Attachment DisorderStereotypic Movement DisorderTic DisordersInfancy, Childhood or Adolescence, Not Otherwise Specified
Latest NewsQuestions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview