Term Paper: Child Clinical Intervention

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[. . .] Nonetheless, the behavioral changes of sexually abused children might provide an indicator.

Behavioral Warning Signs A Child May Have Been Abused

Any one sign doesn't mean the child was abused, but several of them mean that you should begin asking questions

Nightmares, trouble sleeping, fear of the dark, or other sleeping problems.

Extreme fear of 'monsters'.

Spacing out at odd times.

Loss of appetite, or trouble eating or swallowing.

Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, anger, or withdrawal.

Fear of certain people or places (e.g., a child may not want to be left alone with a baby-sitter, a friend, a relative, or some other child or adult; or a child who is usually talkative and cheery may become quiet and distant when around a certain person).

Stomach illness all of the time with no identifiable reason.

An older child behaving like a younger child, such as bed-wetting or thumb sucking.

Sexual activities with toys or other children, such as simulating sex with dolls or asking other children/siblings to behave sexually.

New words for private body parts.

Refusing to talk about a 'secret' he/she has with an adult or older child.

Talking about a new older friend.

Suddenly having money.

Cutting or burning herself or himself as an adolescent."

Child Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse, which is 8% of all substantiated cases of child abuse, is commonly defined as the systematic tearing down of another human being

Emotional abuse is probably the least understood of all child abuse, yet it is the most prevalent, and can be the cruelest and most destructive of all types of abuse

An infant who is being severely deprived of basic emotional nurturing, even though physically well cared for, can fail to thrive and can eventually die." child is a bundle of joy for many. But a child is not a toy to be played and used at will. One has to appreciate that the child is a small human being. And like all human beings, the child has emotional needs. The emotional makeup of a child might not have developed enough to withstand harsh treatment. Harshness or callousness when dealing with a child can cause scars for life.

Emotional abuse is a pattern of behavior that attacks a child's emotional development and sense of self-worth. Emotional abuse includes excessive, aggressive or unreasonable demands that place expectations on a child beyond his or her capacity. Constant criticizing, belittling, insulting, rejecting and teasing are some of the forms these verbal attacks can take. Emotional abuse also includes failure to provide the psychological nurturing necessary for a child's psychological growth and development -- providing no love, support or guidance."

The problem in identifying and dealing with emotional abuse is that at lower levels of intensity, the occurrence of abuse is debatable. For instance mild levels of belittling could be seen as 'kidding'. Another example could be that of criticizing and insulting. Depending on the issue that leads to such abuse, the grown up could actually be convinced that they are doing this to the child for 'his own good'. These mild forms of abusive behavior could actually be seen as 'nurturing'.

Where does nurturing stop and abusing begin is sometimes a grey area. Also, if victims are repeatedly made to believe that this emotional abuse is for their own good, they might actually buy into that logic. This would cause them to inflict similar abuse when they get the chance.

All this is not to say that emotional abuse is always a result of good intentions. There is definitely opportunity for malicious emotional child abuse too. There are several observable and behavioral indicators that a child has been subjected to emotional abuse.

Observable Indicators child rocks, sucks, bites self inappropriately aggressive, destructive to others suffers from sleep, speech disorders restricts play activities or experiences demonstrates compulsions, obsessions, phobias, hysterical outbursts

Behavioral Indicators negative statements about self shy, passive, compliant lags in physical, mental and emotional development self-destructive behavior highly aggressive cruel to others overly demanding"

Common kinds of emotional abuse are:

1) Rebuffing: Making a child feel worthless, blaming him when he/she is not at fault, being incommunicado with the child.

2) Ignoring: Not bonding with the child, rejecting or overlooking affectionate advances of the child, being away from the child for prolonged periods.

3) Scaring: Threatening a child with physical pain, death or desertion, exposing the child to a high degree of fear related to the supernatural.

4) Isolation: Locking up a child, keeping away from other children, disallowing participative activities.

5) Debasing: Exposing a child to pornography, alcohol, and drugs, encouraging criminal or cruel behavior.

Mandated Child Abuse Reporting Laws

The Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention and Treatment Act, as amended, requires States to make provision for the reporting of known or suspected instances of child abuse and neglect (42 U.S.C. 5106a).

Think about it. If a child has the flu, it is naturally understood that parents and family would take the initiative in doing something about it. But when parents and family are the largest category of offenders in cases of abuse, we clearly need to have other eyes and ears to detect abuse. As a result, the law makes it mandatory to report abuse in many cases.

Every State and the District of Columbia have statutes identifying mandatory reporters of child maltreatment, and under what circumstances they are to report. A mandatory reporter is a person who is required by law to make a report. Any person, however, may report incidents of abuse or neglect. Today, reporting laws embrace all professionals working with children. Individuals typically designated as mandatory reporters include:

Physicians, nurses, hospital personnel, dentists;

Medical examiners;


Mental health professionals and social workers;

School personnel;

Law enforcement officials; and Child care providers.

In approximately 18 States, any person who suspects child abuse or neglect is required to report."

Every state has its own statute regarding mandatory child abuse. Here is one from Florida:

Fla.Stat.Ann. 39.201(1) (West, WESTLAW through End of 2001 1st Reg.Sess.)


Any person;

Physicians, osteopathic physicians, medical examiners, chiropractic physicians, nurses, or hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care, or treatment of persons;

Other health or Mental health professionals;

Practitioners who rely solely on spiritual means for healing;

School teachers or other school officials or personnel;

Social workers; day care center workers; or other professional child care, foster care, residential, or institutional workers;

Law enforcement officers; or judges.


When they know, or have reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child's welfare.


Fla.Stat.Ann. 39.204 (West, WESTLAW through End of 2001 1st Reg.Sess.)

The privileged quality of communications between husband and wife and between any professional person and his or her patient or client, or any other privileged communications except that between attorney and client or the privilege provided by 90.505 [providing for the confidentiality of communications made to a clergy member for the purpose of spiritual counsel], as such communication relates both to the competency of the witness and to the exclusion of confidential communications, shall not apply to any communication involving the perpetrator or alleged perpetrator in any situation involving known or suspected child abuse, abandonment or neglect, and shall not constitute grounds for failure to report as required by the reporting laws regardless of the source of information requiring the report, failure to cooperate with the Department, or failure to give evidence in any judicial proceeding relating to child abuse, abandonment, or neglect."

Part II Child Disorders

Introduction: There are several disorders in children that are not easy to detect and cure. In addition many of them do not really have any known causes. In this part of the paper, we will look at three such disorders:

1) Autism

2) Attention Deficit Disorder / Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder

3) Down Syndrome


Autism was much misunderstood until recently. Originally, people regarded an autistic child as a 'crazy' child, or less frivolously a 'mentally retarded' child. Even with the recognition of autism treatment and cure were elusive. But, we have progressed considerably since then. Today treatment and therapy has considerably improved the lot of the autistic. There are now special schools that are equipped to take care of and nurture autistic children. Here is how a U.S. government site, the Autism Information Center, describes Autism.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that are caused by an abnormality in the brain. People with ASDs tend to have problems with social and communication skills. They also are likely to repeat certain behaviors and to not want change in their daily activities. Many people with ASDs also have unusual ways of learning, paying attention, or reacting to different sensations. ASDs begin during childhood and last throughout a person's life."

One of the important characteristics of Autism is that it is very rare. Further,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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