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Article Index


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OCD is an anxiety-related disorder in which children are distressed by or limited in everyday functioning by obsessions and compulsions. They have no control over certain thoughts, ideas or urges which can often be frightening or distressing.   

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is seen as an ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile, and defiant behaviour toward authority figures, such as parents and teachers. Children with ODD are continually defiant, and don’t like taking orders from others.

Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome

This is a pervasive developmental disorder which is related to but separate from the Autistic Spectrum (Autism and Asperger Syndrome). Children with PDA tend to resist and avoid all demands asked of them.

Petit Mal - Absence Seizure

An Absence Seizure (Petit Mal) is a form of generalised seizure which causes a loss of consciousness for 30 seconds or less. Despite this brief loss of consciousness the person will recover fully with no after effects and have no memory of the incident.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

This is a natural emotional reaction to a deeply shocking and disturbing experience. PTSD can affect anyone. It affects around 5% of men and 10% of women some time in their life.

Prader- Willi Syndrome (PWS)

PWS is a neurobehavioural genetic disorder. It isn’t related to medical, environmental or psychosocial factors. Features include food obsession, shortness of stature, poor muscle tone and learning and attention problems. It is connected to Angelman’s syndrome which also has genetic abnormalities in chromosome 15.

Rett Syndrome

Rett Syndrome is a severe progressive neurological condition. It was originally thought to affect only girls, but since the use of genetic testing to diagnose Rett Syndrome it has very recently been discovered in boys. 

School Phobia

School Phobia is an extreme form of anxiety disorder and is identified as a persistent and frequent fear of attending school. It is often described as an irrational fear of the school situation and is usually a social anxiety which is of an emotional origin.

Selective Mutism

This is an Anxiety Disorder that prevents children speaking in certain situations. It is not that they are unable to speak, they are physically capable of normal speech, but they decide not to speak. It is seen as an extreme social anxiety or phobia.


Self-harm can take the form of cutting, bruising and burning the skin together with other self-inflicted wounds. It can also involve taking a drug overdose.

Semantic Pragmatic Disorder

People with Semantic Pragmatic Disorder (SPD) are unable to process all the given information from certain situations.

Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a neurological disorder which causes difficulties in the way we take in, process and respond to sensory information. Someone with SPD finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses and therefore has difficulty in performing everyday tasks.

Sickle Cell Disorder

Sickle Cell Disorder is a condition inherited in the genes from one or both parents which causes abnormalities in the haemoglobin (an oxygen carrying protein found in red blood cells).

Soiling and Wetting

Soiling (encopresis) and wetting (enuresis) are identified as mental health disorders but most people believe they are caused by physical difficulties and emotional problems.

Specific Language Impairment (SLI)

A SLI occurs when a child has difficulty with language only – their development in other areas is normal. They do not develop speech and language skills in the normal way but are often as able as others of their age in every other way. It is a hidden disability, hard to spot and often gets missed or misdiagnosed.

Spina Bifida

Spina Bifida is a birth defect that involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord and nervous system. It occurs when one or more of the vertebrae in the spine do not form properly. This leads to the nerves in the spine being unprotected and causing damage to the central nervous system.


Stammering or stuttering is a problem with the normal flow and timing of speech. In certain situations it might be more or less severe depending on the anxiety level in that situation. It is physical in origin and can have a devastating psychological impact.

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse can have long-term, negative effects on a young person’s well- being. Substance abuse is the continual misuse of any mind altering substance which severely interferes with their physical and mental health.

Tourette’s Syndrome

Tourette’s Syndrome is an inherited neurological disorder. The main identifying factor of Tourette’s Syndrome are multiple motor (body) tics or vocal (phonic) tics. These tics are very difficult to control and can cause distress and anxiety to the child. 

Turner Syndrome

Turner Syndrome is a genetic condition caused by the lack, partial lack or abnormal formation of the 2nd X chromosome in females. Children with this condition display a lack of sexual development, will have growth problem and other health difficulties.

Visual Impairment

This refers to someone who is blind or partially sighted. It does not include people who are short or long sighted. Children who are visually impaired need to learn to use their other senses and learn skills to use in real-life situations.

Williams Syndrome

Williams Syndrome is a rare genetic condition caused by the deletion of the gene that makes the protein elastin from chromosome 7. Symptoms include a lack of co-ordination, muscle weakness and a probability of heart defects and kidney damage.