This paper describes how referrals by teachers for children’s aggressive behaviors compared to the parents and the follow-up clinical psychiatric and social work assessments of this problem. Kindergarten teachers successfully identified the children in need of further assessment and/ or intervention. Among the most significant aspects in the study are that teachers appropriately identified children-at-risk who were ultimately diagnosable in psychiatric categories. This is a strong demonstration of the teachers’ abilities to complete an initial assessment based on classroom behaviors. Their ability to then make an appropriate referral may ultimately assist children, families, and schools in preventing violent behaviors and harm to others. The perceptions of teachers in their roles as front line assessment staff were subsequently confirmed through follow-up psychiatric tests and clinical interviews by mental health practitioners. We conclude that teachers are key team members who can pinpoint children’s aggression, beginning with their own powers of observation, and then by employing a tool such as an initial screen for aggressive behaviour. School personnel and professional community practitioners are a part of a dynamic, community-based team for assessment and treatment purposes.
|Keywords:||Teacher’s Assessment of Kindergarten Aggression, Early Identification of Children-at-Risk, ADHD|
Associate Professor, Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Associate Professor, Social Work, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Clinician, Private Practice, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
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