What Parents Should Know

IF your child has emotional, behavioral or mental health issues, or has been diagnosed with a specific disorder, you should learn as much as possible. It will help you understand why your child behaves the way he does. There are many sources of information about children’s disorders. Achieve Solutions has hundreds of useful tip sheets. You should also talk with your child’s mental health professional, Primary Care Physician or pediatrician.

If you suspect your child may have mental health issues, you should have your child evaluated by a mental health professional. In the evaluation, the professional will talk to you and if appropriate, your child and other family members. She will ask questions about your child’s development and about his behavior both at home and at school. She may also ask about family history and whether or not there are problems or issues at home that may be affecting the behavior. The professional may also observe your child in different settings. With this information, the professional will form a mental health diagnosis. Mental health evaluations are a covered service under you Medicaid plan.

If you are interested in learning about how your mental health professional diagnosed your child, you can get information from a book called the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV, which is published by the American Psychiatric Association (1994). Professionals use this book as a guide to help them diagnose their clients. Your library should have a copy that is available for the public.

Children’s disorders fall into several categories: behavioral disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, developmental disorders and others that don’t fall neatly within a special category. Each diagnosis has a preferred type of treatment or "best practice," so it is important to get the right diagnosis. Because the origin of children’s disorders is so complex, your child’s mental health diagnosis may change over the course of his treatment and some children won’t fall neatly into one diagnostic category.

The following is intended as a brief summary. It is not intended to replace anything your PCP or mental health professional has told you. If you have additional questions, please talk to your mental health professional, pediatrician or PCP or

call the Access to Care Line at 1-800-804-5008

if your child is Medicaid eligible in one of the Colorado counties CHP serves.

Behavioral Disorders
Mood Disorders
Developmental Disorders
Anxiety Disorders
Eating Disorders
Psychotic Disorders
Other Problems that Affect Children and Families
Threats of Suicide