Gender IdentityTreatment for Children and Young People

If your child is under 18 and thought to have gender dysphoria, they will usually be referred to a specialist in the area of Gender Identity.

At your first appointment we will carry out a detailed assessment of your child, to help determine what support they need.

Depending on the results of this assessment, the options for children and young people with expressed gender dysphoria can include:


  • Consultation with a Clinical Psychologist if a formal diagnosis is required (See Criteria below)
  • Individual child psychotherapy
  • Parental support or counselling
  • Regular reviews to monitor gender identity development

Most treatments offered at this stage are psychological, rather than medical or surgical. Further information for hormone treatment for children before and after puberty, and before and after they have reached age 16 can be found here. Psychological support offers young people and their families a chance to discuss their thoughts and receive support to help them cope with the emotional distress that they may be experiencing.

Once completed your child will be provided with a formal written diagnosis, which can be used should you wish to receive hormone treatment and surgical reassignment in the future.

Gender Dysphoria – Criteria for Children as outlined by the HSE*

To be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a child should:

  • Repeatedly insist that they want to be the opposite sex, or that they are the opposite sex, and behave as the opposite sex (this must not be just because they want the supposed advantages of being the opposite sex)
  • Dislike or refuse to wear clothes typically worn by their sex and insist on wearing clothes typically worn by the opposite sex, or show dislike or unhappiness with their genitalia and insist that it will change into that of the opposite sex (for example, refusing to pass urine as members of their sex usually do)
  • Not yet have reached puberty (when a child progresses into a sexually developed adult)
  • Behave this way for at least six months