Une enfant fait une crise de colère

Mental health professionals tend to be in agreement with children

Professionals know the parent’s or the teacher’s point of view: it is the presenting problem, usually behavioral issues.  Dominic communicates the child’s point of view, flagging emotional or affective problems often missed by adults.

As a preliminary tool, or at the beginning of the clinical interview, Dominic screens for most frequent mental health problems (anxiety, depression, behavioral problems, ADHD) within 15 minutes.

The concept

Dominic has the advantages of both questionnaires (standardization, no interpretation) and games being used with younger children (involvement).

To take into account their cognitive immaturity, Dominic does not assess the frequency, duration, or severity of children’s reactions.

The child

This format meets children’s cognitive limitations and allows them to more easily express themselves than the traditional interview.  It fosters the expression of frustrations, aggression, fears, anxieties and sadness by the oppositional, the passive-aggressive and very anxious or depressed kids.

Saving time

Dominic generally saves time with reluctant or oppositional children. It is easier for them to respond to a computer and elaborate on situations brought back on screen than to talk about their problems face to face.

Dominic respect the child

The software puts the child in a non-threatening environment.  No direct questions are asked.  Positive items from a Strengths and Competencies scale are combined with problematic or negative situations.

The combination of stimuli (multimedia) causes a better understanding than solo visual or auditory stimuli. Results of the interview are not based on the child’s literacy.

Dominic is based on today’s standards for mental health assessment

Dominic is based on the DSM-V and the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10).  These classifications establish a number of criteria per diagnosis.  This represents a compromise between traditional medical classifications (two categories: normal vs. pathological) and psychological classifications (dimensions ranging from 0% to 100%).

Results are easy to interpret

Dominic results are based on scores that are less severe than classifications criteria scores.  Therefore, it signals “Tendencies” rather than diagnoses, and adopts a semi-dimensional format that defines three groups (likely normal, uncertain, likely pathological). The middle category takes into account the emotional ups and downs children are prone to.

Results present a picture of the child’s inner world based on his own reading.

Psychometric Properties are Adequate

Dominic demonstrates satisfactory psychometric properties because it is adapted to the developmental stage of children aged 6 to 11 (see Publications).

Limits

Dominic presents the same limitations as all the instruments assessing mental health in children, as well as limitations of its own.