Understanding Behavior Disorders
Most of us recognize that all children will occasionally be defiant and unruly. This is partly due to developing a sense of self, autonomy and master but can happen at times because of an inability to effectively communicate their needs. 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 therapists, our therapists at Pearland Integrated Counseling and Wellness are committed to helping parents and children receive the help they need and to navigate seemingly troubled waters.
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A behavioral disorder can be characterized by extremely challenging behaviors that are outside the norm for a child’s age group. Often, these behaviors affect a child’s social and personal development, impede learning, and can cause problems at home as well as in school. It is not uncommon for a child with a behavioral disorder to also be suffering from concurrent anxiety, depression, and even learning disabilities.
Diagnosis and Long-term Effects of Behavioral Disorders
Diagnosing a behavioral disorder can be 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 trained mental health provider.
A behavioral disorder can negatively affect the life of a child in both the short and long term. Early detection and intervention is key as these problems can continue through adulthood. The sooner help is accessed the better chance the child will grow into an emotionally and psychologically healthy adult.
What are some Behavioral Disorders?
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
The following are a few of the signs that a child might be dealing with ODD: They become easily angered, constantly challenge authority figures, such as parents and teachers, and make 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: They might fight with and/or bullying other people, frequently lie, have delinquent behaviors such as shoplifting, breaking and entering, and vandalism, aggression toward animals and substance abuse at an early age.
Treating Behavioral Disorders
The good news is there is help and hope. Fortunately, emotional and behavioral disorders can be effectively managed through play therapy, talk therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), traditional psychotherapy, parental education, social training, anger management and/or behavioral interventions.
It is important to understand that parental cooperation and involvement is crucial to successful treatment. 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 meet with you and work to address your concerns and create an appropriate treatment plan for your child’s individual needs.