Clinic News


5 Signs a Child May Need Day Treatment

As families and caregivers are hearing more about Day Treatment and the benefits it provides to children, many start to wonder if their child may need services and if Day Treatment is the right fit. 

Furthermore, other questions arise such as what exactly is Day Treatment, how is it going to specifically work for the child, how much does it cost, and when to seek help.

This article is a helpful tool – providing answers to all of these questions and the signs families and caregivers should look for to determine if exploring the option of Day Treatment is necessary. 

What is Early Childhood Day Treatment

Let’s start with defining what Day Treatment is, including it’s long term benefits. Early Childhood Day Treatment is intensive programming designed to service kids that are demonstrating imposing and disruptive behaviors in society that are hindering their social, emotional and behavioral development skills.   Day Treatment provides children the tools to be successful, confident and equipped to engage in positive relationships in home, school, and community settings.

How does it help kids and families?

Children in Day Treatment programming work with therapists to develop coping, regulation, problem-solving, and social skills.  Developmental Repair is an example of an intervention used in the Day Treatment room by therapists working with the children.  Developmental Repair strategies are used to support children who have experienced early complex trauma and are displaying aggressive and disruptive behaviors.  

Such intervention shifts how children are viewed, instead of assuming that children are aggressive or disruptive.  The understanding is that the child’s development has been compromised by either relationship stress and/or persistent trauma.

Because each child’s situation is different, a treatment plan is created and tailored specifically to meet the child’s needs to ensure the child can get back on target with developmentally appropriate behavior.

Early Childhood Day Treatment services also involve a Family Therapy component, which provides caregivers and families the opportunity to learn the skills acquired in Day Treatment to be utilized  at home and other settings. 


Signs to look for in children

Behavior What does this look like? 
Developmental milestone delays or loss of skills Are there skills you feel that your child should have by now that they do not?  Does your child behave differently than other children his or her age?  Have you noticed that your child had a certain skill and no longer uses those skills? 
Difficulty with impulse control and/or managing emotions When kids act impulsively, they might get wrongly labeled as careless, mean or rude.  Does your child have trouble following rules consistently? Is your child aggressive toward other kids? Does your child overreact to frustration, disappointment or mistakes?  Does your child have temper tantrums, cry, pout, lash out at others, panic or break things?
Academic challenges or challenges with response to authority  Is your child struggling with academics in school? Does your child become argumentative to anyone with authority? Does your child express anger and resentment? 
Difficulties with social interactions Does your child have difficulty making new friends or maintaining friendships with peers?  Does your child have difficulty communicating effectively with peers? 
Sexualized behavior, self-injury, or physical aggression Does your child engage in sexual behavior that you are concerned with? Does your child harm him or herself? Does your child hit, kick, bite, pull hair or slap others? 


How much does Early Childhood Day Treatment cost?

The cost of Day Treatment varies from organization to organization. Oftentimes insurance can cover the entire cost, especially with families who are covered by medical assistance. Commercial insurance may also be accepted on a plan-by-plan basis to determine coverage. 

Check with your insurance provider to see what is covered for your child.

When to seek next steps

If your child shows any of these signs or has been removed or is at risk of being removed from school settings due to challenging behaviors, it may be time to start exploring treatment options. 

First, it will be beneficial to talk with your child’s healthcare provider about your concerns.  Your child may experience anxiety, throw tantrums, become irritable or aggressive, or have trouble with boundaries, and managing your child’s behaviors can become extremely overwhelming. 

Your child’s healthcare provider can help you determine whether your child’s behavior is developmentally appropriate or whether a referral to a specialist is needed.  

If it is determined that Day Treatment is appropriate, reach out to your child’s school district and ask about the resources they may already have about Day Treatment programs and if they have any referrals established. Keep in mind, your child’s healthcare provider may have referrals as well.

Next, schedule an appointment to further discuss the appropriate treatment options.

We’re here to help

Giving your child the tools to support healthy development will be beneficial for their future success. 

At Lorenz Clinic, our mission is to help children reach their fullest potential so they can live, learn and play in the community with our Early Childhood Day Treatment program. Our relational therapy approach is specifically designed to reduce challenging behaviors and improve functioning, setting children up for success at a critical stage of their development.

To learn more about our Day Treatment services or to directly get in touch with our Program Manager, start the conversation here.