Mental health concerns for children are described as serious shifts in the way children typically learn, behave or handle their emotions, causing distress and problems getting through the day. Symptoms usually start in early childhood, although some of the disorders may develop throughout the teenage years. The diagnosis is often made in the school years and sometimes earlier. The good news is that childhood mental disorders can be treated and managed. There are many evidence-based options, so parents should work closely with everyone involved in the child’s treatment – therapists, doctors, coaches, teachers and other family members.
Nicole Blend Theiler, LMHC has more than 15 years of experience working with children in clinical, home and school settings. Her focus is treating children, adolescents, and families with concerns regarding mood and anxiety, attachment difficulties, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder and other behavioral difficulties. She combines her behavioral and mental health training to help children and their families. Nicole is also a certified Early Start Denver Model therapist and has extensive experience practicing Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.
Parent Child Interaction Therapy, or PCIT, is an evidence-based treatment for behavioral concerns in young children (2 - 6 years old).
PCIT treatment is completed across two treatment phases.
The first phase focuses on establishing a sense of warmth in your relationship with your child. In this phase, parents will learn new skills and how to apply those skills to help children feel calm and secure within their relationship.
The second phase will equip parents with the skills to manage your child’s most challenging behaviors while remaining calm, confident, and consistent.
The Early Start Denver Model, or ESDM, is a therapy technique for young children (between 18-24 months old) with autism or other developmental delays. Curriculum targets the areas in which children with Autism Spectrum Disorder may have deficits, including: social interaction skills, ability to integrate skill sets, and the ability to both form and maintain healthy relationships.
Parent involvement is an integral component of the ESDM program. Parents and therapists use play to build positive relationships. Therapists should thoroughly explain and demonstrate the strategies they use so that families can reproduce them at home.
Proponents of ESDM believe that it does the essential and important work of establishing relationship-focused behaviors in children at an early age, which will prove integral to their integration into larger social groups (like school environments) later in life.
The Blend Institute’s Nicole Theiler, LMHC is one of only seven ESDM Certified Therapists in the state of Florida.
Call or visit to schedule a consultation to see how Nicole can help your family.