Childhood specialists at the Perinatal and Early Childhood Mental Health Service at the Child Study Center address social–emotional and behavioral challenges facing very young children. We also offer expert support and guidance to help parents navigate the challenges of parenthood, both before birth and from ages 0 to 6 years.
We work with families of children affected by typical early childhood challenges, including separation worries, tantrums, irritability, nightmares, transition to solid foods, picky eating, and adjustment to new siblings, new caregivers, or daycare.
deliver evidence-based early childhood treatments, including parent–child interaction therapy (PCIT)
reduce the amount of stress in your relationship with your child
promote healthy social and emotional development
work with you to arrive at effective solutions for handling challenging behaviors
If you or your partner is pregnant and you are anxious about becoming a parent, we can provide guidance and support.
Evaluation and Consultation
Parents and parents-to-be may benefit from meeting with an early childhood expert to discuss concerns they have about parenting and child development. We also offer advice on the type of childcare, daycare, or preschool program best suited to your child’s particular needs. We can provide insight into issues related to behavior, social and emotional functioning, language and motor skills development, and school readiness.
Our team conducts comprehensive evaluations that may include questionnaires, interviews with parents and children, observation of parents and children, neuropsychological testing, and classroom observations. We also collaborate closely with your child’s general pediatrician and other pediatric providers.
We provide treatments that ensure the highest level of care for you and your family. Our staff members are trained in evidence-based family and individual psychotherapy, couples’ therapy, children’s group therapy, and dyadic therapy, in which a therapist works with the parent and child together to improve interactions between them.
Our dyadic treatments include PCIT, which helps increase positive feelings between parents and children and decrease behavior issues in children age 2 through 7. From behind a one-way mirror and using an earpiece, PCIT therapists coach parents to use effective play therapy and behavior-management skills. In parent–child interaction therapy with toddlers (PCIT-T), therapists teach parents with children age 12 to 24 months to facilitate healthy attachments, build communication skills, and improve emotion regulation in real time. Dino School is a small group-treatment program for children age 3 to 6 who have difficulty making or keeping friends and trouble managing negative feelings. In a group that runs concurrently, therapists teach parents social and emotional skills to help reduce child behavior issues.
If psychotherapy alone is not sufficient, we can provide a medication consultation if indicated or desired by the parent. Our physicians are well informed about the most effective and safest medications for young children, which are only recommended when necessary.