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Pre Adolescents

Ages 9–12

Children referred in this category are starting to think of themselves as young adults and often want to “grow-up” too quickly. They may have any of the preceding difficulties but have become even more reliant on peers for approval and recognition.

  • They are often “mouthy” and can exhibit streaks of defiant behaviors, even if this was not their behavior pattern in the past.
  • They are starting to change physically and can feel awkward because they are growing, maturing or developing too quickly or too slowly.
  • They are becoming much more aware of sexual feelings.
  • They are most often referred from parents, teachers, physicians and relatives.

Some things to watch for…

Mood changes

Behavioral changes (sexual acting out/experimentation, drug use, alcohol use, “mouthy”/non compliant)

Difficulty with focus or concentration


Drop in grades

Sudden changes in personality or friends

Changes in physical habits and appearance