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Preschool children have been largely neglected in the mental health treatment literature, although research has established that many behavioral and emotional disorders in children result from events occurring during the preschool years or are first manifested during this period. This has occurred for several reasons. Traditional psychoanalytic thinking has considered preschoolers to be too psychologically immature for complete manifestations of psychopathology, and the limited language abilities of young children have complicated assessment procedures and made them less appropriate for treatment approaches that are largely verbal in nature. In addition, the developmental complexity of the preschool period has deterred many researchers from investigating clinical issues with this age group. Partly as a result of the lack of information on preschoolers in the literature, practitioners have historically been uncomfortable in conduct ing assessments and initiating treatment with young children. They have often adopted a "wait and see" attitude in which formal mental health diagnosis and treatment are not implemented until after the child's entry into school. Unfortunately, such a delay may mean wasting the time during which mental health interventions can be maximally effective. Recently, this attitude has changed and practitioners now recognize the need for assessment and treatment of behavioral and emotional disorders early in life. What they require to assist them in the timely delivery of such services is information about assessment and treatment procedures specifically designed for preschoolers and with demonstrated efficacy with that age group.
Introduction. Learning Problems. Toileting Problems. Eating Problems. Sleep Problems. Communication and Language Problems. Psychosomatic Problems. Conduct and Attentional Problems. Fears and Anxiety. Autistic and Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Child Abuse. Depression and Reaction to Loss. Index.