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Child emotional abuse is an aspect of general emotional abuse
Signs of abuse
The interpretation of the signs of emotional abuse must take into account the context. For example, many children are shy and find it difficult to be outgoing and confident, while children with autistic spectrum disorders may present some of the signs and behaviours listed here because of their condition.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) in the UK have identified the following signs as requiring further profesional investigation
- a failure to thrive and grow, particularly if the child thrives when away from home
- delayed development, either physical or emotional.
- compulsive behaviour such as hair twisting or body rocking
- sudden onset of speech disorders
- an unwillingness or inability to play
- an excessive fear of making mistakes
- self-harm or self mutilation
- reluctance to have parents contacted
- an excessive deference towards others, especially adults
- an excessive lack of confidence
- an excessive need for approval, attention and affection
- an inability to cope with praise.
- in extreme cases, preferring inanimate objects to people.