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Anxiety and anxiety disorders in children: Time to talk about it

Anxiety and anxiety disorders in children: Time to talk about it

Anxiety and anxiety disorders are not an ‘adult-only’ thing – children are capable of experiencing these too, and we shouldn’t dismiss or trivialise their feelings.

Anxiety is a common feeling for many of us. It’s that uneasy feeling of nervousness, worry, dread, and fear that we experience in certain situations. You might have felt it before a job interview, while you’re in the labour room (even if you’re not the birthing parent!) and probably on your child’s first day of school. The occasional anxious feeling isn’t exactly a bad thing – in fact, it’s perfectly normal and beneficial to a certain extent. Healthy levels of anxiety function as a warning signal during dangerous situations, prompting us to react or flee to protect ourselves.

However, some people may experience overwhelming levels of anxiety to the point where it interferes with their daily life and relationship with others. In this case, professional help is highly recommended as intense and prolonged feelings of distress aren’t great for anyone and may be attributed to an anxiety disorder. And we’re not just talking adults – anxiety disorders may also develop in children.

Senior Clinical Psychologist, S C Anbarasu & Senior Psychologist Jane Low, share their thoughts about this with Honeykids Asia. Follow the link to read on:

https://honeykidsasia.com/anxiety-in-children/

An Interview with ANZA magazine on how psychological testing can help your child

An Interview with ANZA magazine on how psychological testing can help your child

Raising a child is demanding – their emotions and personality trait can change frequently. As a parent, how can you tell if your child’s behaviour is part of growing up or a cause for concern?
Child psychologists at Promises, Tan Su-Lynn and SC Anbarasu speak to the editorial team at ANZA about psychological tests for children and adolescents which help parents better understand the strengths and challenges their child has in areas of cognitive, behavioural, learning and socio-emotional functioning.
Learn more about the types of tests and what goes into one.

 


As parents, we all want the best for our children. We naturally see the good in them and marvel at their every new development and discovery. However, raising a child can be demanding. Even under the greatest circumstances, their emotions and personality traits can change frequently, and it can be difficult to pinpoint when certain behaviours are typical or might need special attention.

Just like us, children experience a huge range of emotions (some more adorable than others!). They can be sad, anxious, aggressive or irritable. They can be restless, reclusive or downright grumpy. In most cases, these feelings are perfectly healthy, but how can you tell if your child’s mannerisms are a part of growing up or a cause for concern?

Promises Healthcare, Psychiatric & Psychological clinic can help to put your mind at ease with their psychological tests for children and adolescents. Carried out by their expert team of senior child and educational psychologists, these evaluations can help parents to better understand the strengths and challenges their child may have in areas of cognitive, behavioural, learning and socio-emotional functioning.

Tan Su-Lynn, Senior Educational Psychologist at Promises

Why take a psychological test?

While the idea of psychological tests for children might sound daunting, they can be essential in helping parents to make educated choices and implement strategies to ensure a child is getting the right support. “Intelligence – sometimes referred to as the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) – includes cognitive functioning, intellectual ability, aptitude, thinking skills, and general ability,” explains Senior Clinical Psychologist at Promises, S C Anbarasu. “Based on the type of assessments used, trained psychologists can obtain a more in-depth understanding of a child’s challenges. Some potential issues that can be detected include emotional or behavioural problems, or delayed learning with writing, spelling, maths or reading. Testing also helps to identify the presence of autism, ADHD or dyslexia.”

Says Tan Su-Lynn, Senior Educational Psychologist at Promises, “When a child is observed to have difficulties with their learning or behaviour in school or at home, this may suggest the possibility of a learning or behavioural disorder. Severity of the difficulties should also be taken into consideration, such as whether they impact their social, home and/or school functioning. Psychological testing can obtain a profile of a child’s strengths and areas that require support.

Reasons for a psychological test can include:

  • Learning difficulties or delays (for example, difficulties with spelling, writing, reading)
  • Emotional or behavioural problems in the classroom or home
  • Admission to special educational programmes
  • Increased understanding of a child’s learning style
  • Concerns regarding possible attentional difficulties
  • Underachievement
  • Giftedness

 

Senior Clinical Psychologist at Promises, S C Anbarasu

What are the tests and how do they work?

Depending on your concerns and your child’s needs, there are two types of psychological tests for children available at Promises to ascertain a child’s profile. “The IQ test measures a range of cognitive abilities and provides a score that is intended to serve as a measure of the child’s intellectual abilities, overall thinking, reasoning skills and potential,” explains Su-Lynn. “Our Academic Testing assesses areas in language, reading, writing, mathematical skills, comprehension and fluency.”

After an initial consultation period, both assessments take place in stages. As each one lasts approximately 6-12 hours, sessions are spaced out to reduce fatigue and distraction. There are no scary school exam style set-ups here: each test involves fun problems, puzzles and questions. “Generally, most children enjoy the testing sessions as it’s an engaging process,” says Anba. “To make sessions as stress-free as possible, we have regular breaks so they can play with their favourite toys. Tasks that involve using hands to construct or fingers to point at pictures appear to appeal the most. Parents are welcome to join their child throughout for support.”

Once completed, a feedback session is arranged to discuss the outcome and provide parents with the opportunity to ask questions. Parents also receive a comprehensive written report with recommendations for home and school settings. Continues Anba, “With psychological tests for children, we can address potential issues early and hopefully prevent the child from feeling demoralised, stressed and anxious in the future.”

When parents and teachers work holistically with Promises, everyone receives a better understanding of the child’s behaviour and game-changing solutions to bring them a brighter and happier future.

Promises Healthcare_Psychological Testing Diagram

Discover more at Promises Healthcare, Psychiatric & Psychological clinic.#09-22/23, Novena Medical Center, 10 Sinaran Drive, 307506. Tel: +65 63977309

 


*This article was first published on ANZA’s website. 

An Interview with HoneyKids Asia on the whats and hows of ADHD in Children

An Interview with HoneyKids Asia on the whats and hows of ADHD in Children

While most of us may be familiar with the term ADHD or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, we may be unfamiliar with the challenges and struggles a child diagnosed with ADHD goes through.
Our senior psychologists from the Child and Adolescent team, S. C. Anbarasu and Tan Su-Lynn, spoke to the editorial team at HoneyKids Asia to shed more light on ADHD, how it affects kids, what are the early symptoms, and how parents can support a child with a diagnosis.
Psychological Testing (Part 1)

Psychological Testing (Part 1)

Written by: S C Anbarasu, Senior Clinical Psychologist

Psychological evaluation is often helpful in understanding the strengths and challenges an individual may have in their cognitive, behavioural, learning and socio-emotional functioning. 

At Promises Healthcare, we believe that “one size fits all” is not an approach that is applicable to the treatment of psychological disorders and challenges. We provide tailored recommendations for parents, teachers, and therapists so that interventions and accommodations allow each child to reach their potential.

IQ and academic testings can provide important information about a child’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses, academic needs, and preferred learning style. These can assist parents and children in making educational choices and implementing strategies to ensure that the child’s learning is appropriately supported. 

Specific reasons for testing include:

  • Learning difficulties or delays (e.g. difficulties with spelling, writing, maths and/or reading)
  • Giftedness
  • Underachievement
  • Emotional and/or behavioural problems presenting in the classroom and/or at home
  • Admission to special educational programs
  • Increasing understanding of a child’s learning style
  • Concerns regarding possible attentional difficulties

 

What is IQ testing?

Intelligence testing is a method used by psychologists to measure a child’s intellectual capabilities. Intellectual assessment is a good indicator of a child’s potential. We use the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, fifth edition (WISC- V). This is an individually administered instrument for assessing the cognitive ability of children aged 6 years to 16 years.

The WISC V is one of the most reliable and valid IQ testing instruments available and is the most widely used measure of IQ. The WISC V provided scores that represent intellectual functioning in four specified cognitive domains: Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Reasoning, Processing Speed and Working memory.  During the testing session, a child is asked to solve problems and puzzles and to answer a range of questions. Generally, most children enjoy the testing session as it is an engaging process involving novel and fun tasks. Should parents have worries about their child’s emotional wellbeing during the assessment, raise it with us and, we can explore a workable collaborative plan to support you and your child during the testing process.

 

What is Academic Testing?

Academic Testing provided an overview of a child’s current performance across a range of academic domains. We use the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-III) with subtests including:

  • Oral Expression
  • Listening Comprehension
  • Written Expression
  • Spelling
  • Pseudoword Decoding
  • Word Reading
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Numerical Operations
  • Maths Reasoning

The assessment provides a rich source of information about a child’s achievement skills. Information obtained can then be utilized for intervention decisions. 

 

The Assessment Process

The assessment is conducted in several stages:

  • An initial assessment with parent(s) is an integral part of our assessment procedure.
  • A time is set to administer the WISC 5 and the WIAT-III and other relevant tests. Usually, you may have to set aside about two or more sessions for approximately 6 to 12 hrs (excluding initial consult session) for testing, depending on the capacity and the needs of the child/person. Spacing out testing over several days can help some children overcome fatigue and stress. 
  • A comprehensive written report will be prepared after all the testings are completed, based on the outcome of the assessment and testing process. The report will highlight relative areas of strengths and difficulties, with recommendations for home and school settings. 
  • A feedback session will be provided to parents after the completion of the report. During this session, parents can be given an opportunity to clarify and discuss any concerns regarding the report. 

 

Fees for assessments

  • The Psychologist conducting the tests will inform parents of the charges involved during the initial consultation session, based on the needs of the child/person and the different tests required. 

 

Payment Plans

  • Payment plans are available for our testing procedures. Clients may choose to pay the full amount for testing at the end of the initial consultation or they may elect to pay in two payments. Like most of the private practices, reports will not be released prior to receipt of full payment. 

 

Referrals/ For Information

Please do not hesitate to speak to our friendly reception staff at (+65) 6397 7309 if you wish to make an initial appointment. Alternatively, should you wish to clarify matters with me personally, you can leave your name and contact details with the reception at clinic@promises.com.sg

 


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Mental Health Awareness Panel Discussion feat. Dr Jacob Rajesh & S C Anbarasu

Mental Health Awareness Panel Discussion feat. Dr Jacob Rajesh & S C Anbarasu

On May 16th 2020, Dr Jacob Rajesh , Senior Consultant Psychiatrist & S C Anbarasu, Senior Clinical Psychologist, were invited to be a part of a Public Education Talk: ‘Mental Health Awareness Panel Discussion’ by the ‘Migrant Workers Singapore’  group – a migrant workers community platform.

The discussion touched on a wide range of Mental Health conditions that they are concerned over; explained what they are and how one could cope or be a support.

We encourage you to hit the ‘play’ button to view the video.

 

Mental Health Awareness Panel Discussion

So if you feel anxious, depressed, stressed, or even suicidal? What can you do? Too many people suffer in silence and don’t seek help! Come join a conversation about mental health issues! Our experienced panel will consist of mental health professionals from various disciplines, a Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Senior Clinical Psychologist from Promises Healthcare Clinic, and an Assistant Head of a Family Service Centre! The panel will be moderated by Casework Manager of SG Accident Help Jevon Ng, an advocate for mental health and wellbeing. Our panel members all have a lived experience of mental health and will be answering questions from the audience.audience participation is encouraged. Please click the link below to join the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83397902082Date: Saturday, May 16 2020Time: 4:30 pm – 6:30 pmEvent Categories: Raise Awareness Organizer@Migrant workers Singapore Support by SGcare Physiotherapy Clinic

Posted by Migrant Workers Singapore on Saturday, 16 May 2020