1 South Ave.
Garden City, NY 11530
Description: In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the East Coast of the U.S. and severely impacted the lives of millions of people on Long Island and in the tri-state area. Many of those affected are very young children who have lost their belongings, daily structure, and a sense of security and safety. These young children have been displaced from their homes, preschools and daycare. Many of their important relationships have been disrupted. The stress of such sudden, overwhelming and unexpected loss can be traumatizing. Very young children must make sense of the loss as well as adjust to their "new normal." Preschool children who already live with mood disorders will have compounded challenges and be more complicated for their parents, teachers and clinicians to understand and help.
Recent research has estimated that as many as 1-2 percent of all preschoolers in the United States are clinically depressed. It is difficult to admit that a toddler can suffer from a mood disorder, let alone have the knowledge to recognize and treat it. Symptoms for very young children do not fit neatly into a well-defined disorder category as they do for teens and adults. While there is a developing body of empirical data validating depression in the preschool period, there remains a great deal of confusion and uncertainty amongst experts on whether bipolar disorder may arise in a young child and if so how to differentiate it from depression, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, or simply a difficult home or school environment.
In this workshop, the instructor will present developmentally appropriate clinical techniques used for the mental health assessment of mood disorders in preschool children. She will also review up-to-date research on these techniques. This will be discussed in the context of the developmental theory about depression in young children. In addition, the instructor will address the clinical characteristics of preschool onset depression and how to differentiate it from normative extremes of mood and other early onset disorders. Participants will learn how to appropriately assess and identify symptoms of depression in preschool children (aged 3-6). Finally, the instructor will present a novel conceptual model that may be used in dyadic psychotherapeutic approaches for the treatment of preschool depression.
Joan Luby, M.D., is a Professor of Child Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and founder and director of the Washington University School of Medicine Early Emotional Development Program (EEDP). The EEDP is a clinical research program that focuses on the study and treatment of affective disorders in preschool age children. Her clinical work and research focuses more specifically on infant/preschool mood disorders, particularly depression, clinical characteristics, biological markers and alterations in the emotional development of young children associated with early onset mood disorders. More recently, these studies have extended into investigations of alterations in brain development in children with early onset depression. Dr. Luby's research include the first large scale empirical studies that have established the criteria for identification, validation and clinical characteristics as well as longitudinal course of depressive syndromes in the preschool age group. Dr. Luby chairs the infancy committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and has published extensively on the issue of preschool mood disorders and young child psychopathology.
Recognizing that resources are very stretched in the aftermath of the hurricane, but knowing the critical importance of this information for working with preschoolers is more pressing than ever, the Institute for Parenting is offering this training at a reduced cost of $65 per person.