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Articles on Childhood development

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Vulnerability to suicide may build up throughout the course of life, and may start with events occurring in the perinatal period and infancy. (Shutterstock)

Understanding the early-life origins of suicide: Vulnerability may begin even before birth

Early life influences have been linked to higher risk of suicide later in life. Reducing those risks, and boosting resilience in children exposed to them, may help reduce suicide rates.
Despite warnings about the impact of climate change on health, surprisingly little has been written about the mental health consequences of climate change for children. (Unsplash/Callum Shaw)

Climate change is harming children’s mental health – and this is just the start

Research shows climate change is already affecting the healthy psychological development of children worldwide. Children’s mental health risks will only accelerate as climate change advances.
Instagram’s emphasis on filtered photos of bodies harms girls’ self-image. Thomas Barwick/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Facebook has known for a year and a half that Instagram is bad for teens despite claiming otherwise – here are the harms researchers have been documenting for years

There is ample research about how harmful Instagram is for teen girls, especially around body image. It turns out Facebook’s own research confirms it.
The disciplinary technique can reduce aggression and help get children to follow family rules. Brooke Fasani Auchincloss/The Image Bank via Getty Images

Timeouts improve kids’ behavior if you do them the right way

Having loads of extra quality time with a toddler or preschooler and feeling flustered? Make sure you know how and where to do this basic disciplinary method the right way.
The frequency and intensity of repetitive behaviours vary between mild and severe, which is why it’s called a spectrum. Dubova/Shutterstock

It’s 25 years since we redefined autism – here’s what we’ve learnt

It’s been 25 years since autism was redefined and the surge in diagnoses and research began. But while we’ve come along way in our understanding of the spectrum, advances in drug therapies has lagged.
Early intervention can help children with autism to develop their communication skills. from www.shutterstock.com

Why early diagnosis of autism should lead to early intervention

Unlike Australia, New Zealand doesn’t fund early intervention therapy for autistic children, but there are programmes pre-school teachers and parents can use to help kids develop.
You can’t test for autism with a simple blood test or scan, which can make the diagnostic process difficult and dependent on the skill and experience of the clinician. altanaka/Shutterstock

New autism guidelines aim to improve diagnostics and access to services

Current rules about who meets the eligibility criteria for autism support services are patchy and inconsistent, meaning those with the greatest need don’t necessarily have the greatest access.
Children are often sad when separated from their parents for a short time, but the effects are pronounced if the separation is long. Eakachai Lessin/Shutterstock.com

Why long-term separation from parents harms kids

Kids often experience anxiety when separated from parents for short periods. Longer separations, happening with some immigrant children, is a different matter, a leading child psychiatrist explains.

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