Mental Help Net
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
Questions and Answers
Weblog Entries
Disruptive Behaviors in Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder
New Genetic Tools to Treat Autism and Pediatric Neurological Disorders
Homework, Organization, and Time Management Strategies to Help Kids with ADHD
Conditions May Mimic ADHD
Autism Early Intervention
Minority Children May Miss Autism Diagnosis
Anxiety and Teen Girls with Lisa Damour, PhD
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
5 Signs Your Teenager is Battling Depression
Identifying and Treating Anxiety in Kids and Teens
The World of Autism PSA
Learning the Signs of Autism
Creating the Best Learning Environment for Students with ADHD
Department of Education Guidance Broadens Understanding of 504 Rights for Kids with ADHD Part II
Ask The Expert: Neurofeedback Treatment for ADHD
Talking About Child Mental Health: A Strategic Approach to Communications
Kids and Depression
Understanding and Supporting Young Adults with ADHD
Helping Your Young Adult Become Independent
Self-Advocacy Tips For Teens With ADHD
Know the Differences Between Adult and Teen Depression
The Perils of Adolescence
ADHD: Signs, Symptoms, Research
Focus on ADHD
Autism & Asperger's: What's The Difference?
Screening for Signs of Autism
My Child Won't Eat: Diagnosing Pediatric Feeding Disorders
Pediatrics: Child Eating Disorders - Part 2
Pediatrics: Child Eating Disorders - Part 1
Pediatrics: ADHD and Food Allergies
ADHD: It's a Family Affair
Does Your Child Have ADHD?
ADHD in Children
Too Scared: Social Anxiety Disorder
Beyond the Data -- Autism Spectrum Disorder
10 Common Warning Signs of a Mental Health Condition in Teens and Young Adults
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Adolescent Depression
Behavioral Activation: Treatment of Adolescent Depression
NAMI's Ask the Doctor Calls--Dialectical Behavior Therapy
NAMI Ending the Silence - A mental health awareness program for teens
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
Using Time Out
Treating Youth Anxiety and Social Phobia
5 Ways Technology Can Complement Mental Health Services
What it’s like to have a brother on the autism spectrum
Autism Jargon: Pica
Is Asperger’s Included in the DSM5?
Overcoming Anxiety in Children and Teens
How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime
Back-to-School Anxiety
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
Recognizing and Treating Problematic Fear and Anxiety in Children
"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
Recent Advances in Anxiety - Children/Adolescents
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 AnswersBlog EntriesVideosLinksBook Reviews
Therapist Search
Find a Therapist:
 (USA/CAN only)

Use our Advanced Search to locate a therapist outside of North America.

Related Topics

Autism Spectrum Disorder
Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)
Child Development & Parenting: Middle (8-11)

Follow us on Twitter!

Find us on Facebook!

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

Powered by CenterSite.Net