Understanding Behavior Disorders

By nature, a child will occasionally be defiant and unruly.  Most of the time, this is because of an inability to communicate.  However, when a child continues to “act out” or inappropriately reacts to everyday situations, it could be a sign of a behavioral disorder. As trained specialists in behavioral disorders, counselors at Integrated Counseling and Wellness-Pearland are committed to helping parents and children receive the help they need.

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What is a Behavioral Disorder?

A behavioral disorder is characterized by extremely challenging behaviors that are outside the norm for a child’s age group. Oftentimes, these behaviors affect a child’s social and personal development, impede learning, and cause problems at home as well as school. It is not uncommon for a child with a behavioral disorder to also suffer from anxiety, depression, and learning disabilities. 


Diagnosis and Long-term Effects of Behavioral Disorders

Diagnosing a behavioral disorder is a difficult process that may include standardized questionnaires, interviews with the child and his/her parents and teachers, as well as a formal diagnosis by a pediatrician, and trained mental health provider.  

A behavioral disorder can negatively affect the life of a child on a day to day basis as well as long term.  These problems can continue through adulthood. The earlier the intervention, the higher the chances that a child will grow into a healthy, well-mannered adult.

Types of Behavioral Disorders

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

The following are signs that a child might be dealing with ODD: Easily angered, anger management issues, constantly challenging authority figures, such as parents and teachers, deliberate efforts to aggravate others and having a vengeful or spiteful attitude.

Conduct Disorder (CD)

The following are signs that a child might be dealing with CD: Fighting with and bullying others, frequent lying, delinquent behaviors, such as shoplifting, breaking and entering, and vandalism, aggression toward animals and substance abuse at an early age.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

The following are signs that a child might be dealing with CD: Difficulty focusing, impulsive behaviors, constant restlessness, interrupting others and failure to follow instructions.


Overcoming Behavioral Disorders

Studies have yet to pinpoint a permanent cure for chronic behavioral problems. Fortunately, emotional and behavioral disorders can be effectively managed through talk therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), traditional psychotherapy, parental education, social training, anger management and/or behavioral medications.

It is important to understand that parental cooperation and involvement is crucial to the treatment and outcome. Under the right conditions, up to 80% of patients, even the most severe, show significant improvement with treatment.

If you are dealing with our suspect that your child suffers from a behavioral disorder, we are here to help.   One of our behavioral specialists will be happy to address your concerns and create an appropriate treatment plan for your child’s individual needs.

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