Children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties present a challenge for parents, teachers and other professionals alike. Research suggests that identifying infants and toddlers at risk of social, emotional and mental health difficulties is crucial, and that early recognition can prevent problem behaviour from becoming the standard or from escalating. It is also recognised that children who live in "at-risk" environments are more likely to display such problems.
In working with children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties, we believe that early assessment and intervention is important. The overlap between normal unruliness, anger and certain clinical conditions can be difficult to define, but careful evaluation using a number of assessment techniques can identify problem cases. In dealing with these cases, it is also important to have a broad strategy which includes parents, teachers, appropriate professionals, and therefore targets behaviour and emotional responses in school, at home and in a more controlled environment if specialist clinical treatment is incorporated.