Not only adults become depressed. Children and teenagers also may suffer from depression. Depression is defined as an illness when it persists and interferes with the ability to function. About 5% of children and adolescents in the general population suffer from depression.

Children under stress, who experience loss or who have attention, learning, or conduct disorders are at a higher risk for depression. Depression also tends to run in families.

The behavior of depressed children and teenagers may differ from the behavior of depressed adults.

In children, the signs of depression often can differ than those in adults. Children exhibit depression often with excessive irritability, anger, and quick mood swings. It is not always the typical picture of depression such as withdrawal, fatigue, and loss of interest that is seen in adults. Child and adolescent psychiatrists advise parents to be aware of signs of depression in their youngsters.

In therapy, we work with children showing signs of depression by helping them process their feelings through play, drawings, games, books, and other expressive outlets. We help them identify their feelings, develop solutions and problem-solving skills and re-frame their thoughts into positive ones.


Behavioral Concerns

Behavior problems at home can cause quite a toll on the family, disrupting family life and peace of mind. Support to work through these issues and determine a plan of action can make all the difference in lifestyle.

Generally behavior problems are a reflection of a combination of factors and can be improved with direct intervention. Our philosophy is about working together to ensure success with a positive behavior support plan. We work with you the parents to develop a plan that reinforces the behaviors you want to see in your child and home. At times, we also work with the child to assist in processing the feelings that are underlying the behavior. We also will look at other possible explanations for the behavior such as sensory issues or other environmental factors that can be altered to help regulate some of the behavior.


Autism Spectrum

Family Autism Remediation

We offer many services to families and individuals dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Our approach is individualized to fit each family and their needs. Our primary approach is to coach parents using a developmental model. We recognize that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder are often missing skills needed to develop relationships, interact with others and handle social situations.

Through our approach we combine current research to address the deficits seen in many with ASD, including flexible thinking, assessing social situations, communicating and referencing others’ communication, self-regulating, and interacting in a back and forth manner with others. Through a variety of means, parents are empowered to learn how to interact with their child within their daily routine in ways that encourage and promote learning opportunities to their child to develop these building blocks to success and progress.

We have had many successes at Family Learning Solutions with our approach and encourage you to call and see how we can help you.

Social Skills Groups

All age groups are offered 3 and up. If we do not currently have a group to fit your needs, we will work to develop a group that works for your child.

For those individuals who are not yet ready for group work, we will work individually with them following a similar structure to build competence and success until they can be incorporated into a peer group.

Groups consist of fun activities designed to promote relationship building, i.e. conversation circles, collaborative projects, simple to complex board games and group games, interactive activities, role-playing, and peer feedback.

Skills that are addressed range based on age but include joint attention, referencing a peer, working with a partner, friendship building, conversation, taking turns, playing a game, pretend play with a peer, joining in, good sportsmanship, and handling conflict.

Behavior Planning Assistance

A thorough analysis is done to assess an promote an understanding of your child’s behavior as well as developing strategies and techniques to manage and remediate. Social stories, applied behavior principles, sensory strategies, communication techniques, relationship building and positive behavior concepts are employed and custom-designed to fit your child’s unique temperament and abilities.


Attention Problems

AD/HD symptoms usually arise in early childhood. Current diagnostic criteria indicate that the disorder is marked by behaviors that are long lasting and evident for at least six months, with onset before age seven. There are three primary subtypes, each associated with different symptoms.

Because everyone shows signs of these behaviors at one time or another, the guidelines for determining whether a person has AD/HD are very specific. In children, the symptoms must be more frequent or severe than in other children of the same age. In adults, the symptoms must be present since childhood and affect one’s ability to function in daily life. These behaviors must create significant difficulty in at least two areas of life, such as home, social settings, school, or work.

Our approach to working with ADHD begins with addressing and developing the executive skills needed to organize, plan, and carry out tasks. Skills and strategies are focused on that improve the ability to function successfully in school and life. Often, we combine this with study skills to enhance school performance as well.

AD/HD – Primarily Inattentive Type

  • Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
  • Has difficulty sustaining attention
  • Does not appear to listen
  • Struggles to follow through on instructions
  • Has difficulty with organization
  • Avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort
  • Is easily distracted
  • Is forgetful in daily activities

AD/HD – Primarily Hyperactive/Impulsive Type

  • Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in chair
  • Has difficulty remaining seated
  • Runs around or climbs excessively
  • Has difficulty engaging in activities quietly
  • Acts as if driven by a motor
  • Talks excessively
  • Blurts out answers before questions have been completed
  • Has difficulty waiting or taking turns
  • Interrupts or intrudes upon others

AD/HD – Combined Type

Meets both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive criteria


Anxiety Disorders

After attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and oppositional-defiant disorder, the anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illnesses in children and adolescents. As many as 3-5% of children suffer from anxiety disorders, not counting obsessive-compulsive disorder which affects another 0.5-1.0% of children. More than 50% of affected young persons will experience a major depressive episode as part of their anxiety syndrome.

Childhood Anxiety

We all have experienced the nervous butterflies, sweaty hands and dry mouth that comes with making that big presentation. But children suffering from anxiety disorders deal with these types of symptoms just getting together with friends, going to school, or other routine events.

Through cognitive behavioral therapy, we will work with the child to break negative thought cycles and implement more positive ways of viewing social situations. We also work to develop relaxation and visualization strategies to help the child overcome and manage those feelings of anxiety.


Anger Management

We see it often, children who never learn to manage their anger can grow up to face huge problems. It is critical to help your child learn to deal with their negative emotions in appropriate ways from an early age. The earlier they are taught appropriate ways to deal with their anger, the more peaceful your home will be. While toddlers are bound to have outbursts and tantrums, even they are not to young to learn a bit of self control.

Very Young Children

Every parent with young children knows that they are still learning to control their tempers, especially in public. As parents, we want to assist our child to learn how to control their anger. While it is important for you to remain calm during tantrums and outbursts, you also must be firm and consistent in the discipline you use so your child will take you seriously. Young children anger management suggestions include timeouts and using distraction to guide little ones from outbursts when they threaten to turn ugly.

Teen Age Children

Learn to be a good listener to your teen-age child. Ask your son or daughter about their day at school, friends, social activities, and concerns or problems. When you see that they are visibly upset about something you can help them learn to be calm by calmly encouraging them to discuss the problem. Teach them they have choices other than anger by suggesting alternatives to the situation that is upsetting them.

Kids learn from example and if they see a balance from you, they are more likely to emulate a positive behavior. Let your teenagers know that as they mature, they must become responsible for managing emotions, including anger, in adult-like ways that are socially acceptable.