Growth & Development




Children may engage in one or more problem behaviours from time to time. Some factors should be considered in determining whether the behaviour is truly of concern.

These include:

  • injuring themselves or others

  • behaving in a manner that presents immediate risk to themselves or others

  • frequency and severity of the behaviour

  • number of problematic behaviours that are occurring at one time

  • significant change in the child’s behaviour

  • withdrawal If the child presents

With any type of the following behaviours, consider this a red flag:


Self-Injurious Behaviour

Bites self, slaps self, grabs at self

Picks at skin, sucks excessively on skin/ bangs head on surfaces

Eats inedibles

Intentional vomiting (when not ill)

Potentially harmful risk taking (e.g., running into traffic, setting fires)


Temper tantrums, excessive anger, threats

Hits, kicks, bites, scratches others, pulls hair

Bangs, slams objects, property damage

Cruelty to animals

Hurting those less able/bullies others

Social Behaviour

Difficulty paying attention/hyperactive, overly impulsive

Screams, cries excessively, swears

Hoarding, stealing

No friends, socially isolated, will not make eye or other contact, withdrawn

Anxious, fearful/extreme shyness, agitated

Compulsive behaviour, obsessive thoughts, bizarre talk

Exhibiting inappropriate behaviour in public (e.g., undressing)

Touches self or others in inappropriate ways, precocious knowledge of a sexual nature

Flat affect, inappropriate emotions, unpredictable angry outburst, disrespect or striking

Life Skills

Oppositional behaviour

Running away

Resisting assistance that is inappropriate to age

Self-Stimulatory Behaviour

Deficits in expected functional behaviours (e.g., eating, toileting, dressing, poor play skills)

Regression, e.g., loss of skills, refusal to eat, sleep disturbances

Difficulty managing transitions/routine changes

Hand-flapping, hand wringing, rocking, swaying

Repetitious twirling, repetitive object manipulation

Having concerns about a child's development?

Having difficulty coping? Need some advice?

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