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Suspicion of developmental deviations in children

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When concern arises among parents or caregivers about a child/adolescent having developmental differences, the first step is often to seek advice from the child's immediate environment. If it involves a primary or secondary school child, it is best to consult:

  • Teachers
  • School principals
  • Guidance counselors
  • School nurses

Additionally, you can also consult:

  • Family doctors
  • Pediatricians
  • Psychologists

These parties can apply for the child's situation to be examined, preferably by a school psychologist who conducts an initial assessment. School psychologists working at service centers on behalf of the municipality to which the child's school belongs carry out the initial assessment.

How does the initial assessment proceed?

The initial assessment includes, among other things:

  • Interviews with parents, inquiring about the developmental, health, and family history of the child.
  • A questionnaire for parents and teachers, including screening for symptoms of ADHD and autism, and asking about behavior and well-being.
  • A school psychologist visits the child's school and observes the child in the school environment.
  • Cognitive development of the child is assessed (WISC-IV).

When these results are available, the school psychologist meets with parents to provide them with a report of the findings. The results of the initial assessment and interventions and advice are discussed.

If the assessment results point to symptoms that may suggest ADHD, autism, oppositional defiant disorder, or conduct disorder, a referral is made to the Child Mental Health Center (Geðheilsumiðstöð barna) or the National Diagnostic and Counseling Center (Ráðgjafar- og greiningarstöðvar) for further diagnosis.