5.1 The potential impact on children’s development
The presence of a mental health condition can impact on children’s development in a range of different ways. Anxiety can impact on children’s social development because they can find it difficult to feel confident in interacting with other people. It can also impact on their speech and language development to the extent that they can become selectively mute, meaning that they will choose not to speak in certain places (or to certain people), usually when at school, but will do so when at home or on their own with one other trusted person. Anxiety and ADHD (in particular when inattention is a major feature) can reduce a child’s ability to concentrate, which is likely to impact on a child’s educational attainment.