When to seek help?

When to seek help?
If you have concerns, don’t hesitate to speak with your child’s early childhood educator or even to contact your local CLSC to get the support you need. Talking about it is the first step in finding the solutions that will help your whole family!

Some parents feel helpless about how to deal with their child’s aggressive behaviour and wonder at what point the behaviour should raise alarm. Isabelle Vinet, General Coordinator at the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development suggests seeking help when:

  • aggressive behaviour doesn’t seem to be phasing out or intensifies over a period of more than 6 months.
  • aggressive behaviour still occurs frequently after 4 years old despite your efforts.
  • your child is experiencing difficulties in his relationships with his peers: he has few friends, other children reject him or he makes friends with other aggressive children.
  • your child no longer enjoys playing or learning. You often put him in timeout because of unacceptable behaviour during games and group activities.
  • you are overwhelmed by your child’s behaviour and no longer feel capable of reacting accordingly to put a stop to it.

If you have concerns, don’t hesitate to speak with your child’s early childhood educator or even to contact your local CLSC to get the support you need. Talking about it is the first step in finding the solutions that will help your whole family!

Aggressive behaviour in children with special needs

“My 3-and-a-half-year-old son, Zachary, has a severe language delay,” explains Karine, also mother of Hailey, 7. “We’re waiting to have him assessed for a pervasive developmental disorder. He gets really upset when we say “no” or when he has difficulty being understood, for example. He’ll scream and cry without our being able to understand why. There are times when I just feel so overwhelmed by his behaviour.”
According to Loriana Giuliani and Marie-Christine Harguindéguy-Lincourt from the organization CASIOPE, the keywords for dealing with children with special needs are: consistency-coherence-stability. The child experiencing development delays needs more time to understand and to learn. Parents need to repeat the same strategies and persevere, for however long it takes. It’s also important to talk about it and to get support from your child’s educator or a specialized worker. “When everyone involved with the child has a common understanding of the child’s difficulties, it helps. Often, intervention strategies take shape naturally when the focus is placed on the child’s specific needs,” says Giuliani.