Having a disability as a child or young person increases the likelihood of emotional problems and can compound them.
What can therapy help with?
Child and adolescent psychotherapy can help with difficulties faced by children with Learning Difficulties who can often be more vulnerable. Such difficulties can include bullying, abuse, family distress, loss through separation or death, relationship difficulties, inappropriate expectations and demands, depression, sleeping problems, eating problems, low self-esteem and loneliness as well as a range of challenging and difficult behaviour.
What will therapy be like?
Children with additional needs require a calm and safe environment, where they will not be over-whelmed. The regular and reliable structure of therapeutic work, in a familiar room where change and excess stimulation is kept to a minimum, is particularly beneficial to children with learning difficulties.
I will place an emphasis on play, non-verbal communication and developmental processes when working with children with delayed and uneven development. I respond to sensory needs and work flexibly through creative media and a sensitive therapeutic relationship. For children and young people who have with significant difficulties with speech and language, it is vital that non-verbal communication is enabled and encouraged. Prioritising the individual communication preferences of each child, enables those who struggle with social and emotional difficulties and expressive language, to access the help they need.
How can therapy help?
Therapy for children and young people with Learning Difficulties can support their understanding and positive sense of self, aiming to help them adjust in a healthy way to the reality of their needs. For example, the challenges of ‘being different’ can feel insurmountable and become greater during adolescence and teenage years.
Child psychotherapy provides a unique approach to helping children and teenagers with additional needs, especially at points of change and transition. Sometimes families need support with many difficult emotions associated with disability. Confidence and independence can grow. Depression and low self-esteem can be helped by carefully directed therapy.