Behavioral Health

female child with pigtails

Whining, temper tantrums, power struggles, inattention, fear/anxiety, and more. At Nemours, our behavioral health experts can help you identify the root causes of your child’s behavior and offer solutions to help your child — and your family — see a better tomorrow.

 
Learn More About Behavioral Health in Children

There are many factors that can contribute to child behavioral and emotional problems. Whether these problems stem from dealing with the stresses of a chronic medical illness, a learning disability, or peer pressure, we know how to treat behavioral and emotional disorders in children and teens.

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington


1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803
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Phone: (302) 651-4500

Hours: Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 
What to Bring
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
New Patients

Bring these forms for your first appointment:

Returning Patients
 
Forms & Resources
New Patient Forms
Returning Patient Forms
Resources for Patients & Families

As a parent, you nurture and care for your child’s emotional and physical well-being. But sometimes even with the best of efforts, your child may still struggle with life’s challenges. At Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, our behavioral health specialists can help you identify the causes of your child’s problems and offer solutions to help your child – and your family, see a better tomorrow.

Every day, your child is presented with challenges and disruptions – that’s normal. But when ordinary stress becomes overwhelming, your child’s behavior may change, which can lead to other problems. Whether your child is dealing with the stresses of a chronic medical illness, experiencing anxiety or depression, or having behavior problems, our behavioral health specialists can help.

 
Experts on Your Child’s Team
Our team of mental health experts includes:
  • Child psychologists: also called pediatric psychologists, are licensed mental health professionals with doctorate degrees. Psychologists provide consultation, evaluations, and psychotherapy to address a wide-range of behavioral, emotional, and social concerns.
  • Child or adolescent psychiatrists: also called pediatric psychiatrists, are doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and the treatment of disorders of thinking, feeling, and/or behavior affecting children and teens and their families. Also, a child psychiatrist uses an integrative approach to treatment that may include the use of medication therapy when necessary.
  • Neuropsychologists are mental health professionals with doctorate degrees who specialize in studying how the brain affects your child’s behaviors and emotions.
  • Behavioral health specialty nurses are pediatric registered nurses who provide clinical support to our child psychiatrists and psychologists. These specialty nurses act as a liaison between your child and your child’s doctor. Also, they may refill any prescriptions your child may need.
 
Diagnosing Behavioral Disorders in Children

When your child is referred to us, we’ll gather information from a comprehensive assessment interview with you and your child. We may also ask you, your child’s teacher, and others who may have daily interaction with your child to complete screening questionnaires. This information helps a child behavior provider caring for your child understand the issues your child is experiencing and to make an accurate diagnosis. From this information, we’ll develop a treatment plan for your child.

The treatment plan considers a number of factors, including:  
  • cognitive development, the way your child thinks, speaks, remembers
  • physical and language development
  • educational level
  • emotional functioning
  • family composition and support
  • genetic conditions, if any
  • physical health and functioning
  • social support and skill
  • cultural background
  • family mental and medical health history
 
Treating Emotional and Behavioral Disorders in Children and Teens

We care for children and teens referred to us for a variety of emotional, psychological, and behavioral concerns. Treatment includes outpatient consultation and therapy services, including individual, family and group therapy and medication therapy.

Some disorders we treat in children and teens include:
  • adjustment issues related to a chronic medical condition: diabetes, cancer, sickle cell disease, GI conditions
  • difficulty following medical treatment plans related to a chronic medical condition
  • stress management
  • pain
  • autism spectrum disorders, ranging from mild to severe,
    including Asperger’s Syndrome
  • attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • disruptive behavior problems
  • depression and mood disorders
  • anxiety
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • developmental disabilities
  • enuresis (bed-wetting) and encopresis (bowel accidents)
    in toilet-trained children
  • eating disorders
 
Coping With a Chronic Medical Condition and Hospital Stays

Children can feel overwhelmed when they are feeling sick, and perhaps especially when they are admitted to the hospital. Your child may feel depressed or anxious about upcoming procedures or confused about treatment for a medical condition. We’ll work with your child’s medical care team, providing consultation and education about the relationship between physical illness and psychological distress. We work with children, teens – and their families both through inpatient care and outpatient consultation.

Some of the medical conditions for which we can help provide consultation and treatment include:
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • asthma
  • cancer
  • gastrointestinal (GI) disorders
  • eating disorders
  • sickle cell disease
  • feeding disorders
  • cardiac conditions
 
Child Behavior Consultation Clinic

This specialized clinic is designed to help families and young children, birth to age 6, who show signs of a wide-range of developmental and behavioral concerns such as:

  • parent-child conflict
  • sleep problems
  • toileting concerns
  • daycare difficulties
  • defiant behavior
  • sibling rivalry
  • tantrums
 
A Special Clinic for Children With ADHD and Their Families

Our Parent Child Conduct Clinic offers parents of children diagnosed with ADHD in-depth education about the condition and strategies to address common behavioral concerns related to ADHD. While parents meet with our psychology staff, children diagnosed with ADHD attend a social skills group with other children their age. In group, children learn skills for interacting well with peers and demonstrating self-control.

 
Pediatric Psychiatric Consultation Clinic

Our Pediatric Psychiatric Consultation Clinic offers pediatricians the opportunity to refer children and teens for consultation appointments with one of our psychiatrists. During this appointment, one of our psychiatrists will develop a treatment plan just for your child, and your child’s primary care doctor will provide follow-up medication therapy.

Other behavioral health clinics include:
  • outpatient psychotherapy for children and teens at the hospital
  • inpatient psychiatric and psychological consultation
  • psychological testing for ADHD, autism, emotional concerns, and behavioral issues
  • multidisciplinary diabetes group
  • pain management group
  • social skills group for children and teens with high functioning autism disorders