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Behavioral Disorder: What is Behavioral Disorder?
Behavioral Disorder is a general term under which both oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder are housed. This disorder can present itself in a variety of ways. What a parent may write off as a normal stage of childhood behavior could actually be a sign of behavioral disorder. Every child is different and behavioral disorder affects each child in a different way.
There is a high level of co-morbidity with conduct disorder and other behavioral disorders, including ADD (AD/HD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Learning Difficulties, Mood Disorders, Depressive symptoms, Anxiety Disorders, Communication Disorders, and/or Tourette’s Disorder. A study involving 236 children with ADD (AD/HD) revealed that 95% of these children had co-morbid conditions of oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, or related behavior issues (Bird, Gould, & Staghezza Jaramillo, 1994). An 8-year follow-up study revealed that 80% of these children still struggled with hyperactivity as adolescents. Additionally, 60% developed oppositional defiant disorder or progressed to full-blown conduct disorder.
Click on the disorders below to find out more about each:
Behavioral Disorder and Brain Function:
Children and adolescents who demonstrate symptoms of behavioral disorder are often dealing with both neurological and environmental factors that contribute to their behavior. Research has shown that, absent of brain injury, involvement of the temporal and/or occipital lobes are often seen in the qEEG or Brain Map.
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Behavioral Disorder and Common Symptoms:
The following are warning signs that your child could be in need of help for Behavioral Disorder:
- frequent tantrums and arguments
- consistent lack of respect for self or others
- consistent hostility toward authority figures
- lying or stealing
- not doing well in school, skipping school
- damaging or destroying property
- harming or threatening themselves (self injury/cutting), others, or pets
- early smoking, drinking, or drug use
- early sexual activity
When persistent, some additional specific behaviors are considered child behavior problems include: aggressive behavior, cheating, separation anxiety, disobedience, fighting and biting.
While there may not be initially be a need for alarm, if a pattern develops, it may be a sign of behavioral disorder. Children who suffer from behavioral disorder are at a higher risk for school failure, suicide, and mental health problems. Do not be afraid to seek help at any point when you observe one or more of these symptoms in your child.
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Behavioral Disorder: Conduct Disorder Case Study
This case involved a 15 year old male, who was a gang member. His presenting symptoms/problems for Behavioral Disorder included: probation, anger, marijuana use, sugar cravings (after Pot), large appetite, severe allergies and asthma, frequent illnesses, fatigue, bruxism, and nightmares since he was five years old.
His grandfather killed himself in the ocean; thus, he had a fear of the ocean. His parents were divorced. Father was angry and an alcoholic; mother was also addicted. Mother was Bipolar, and both parents suffered from migraines. He had many geographical moves and school changes. He was disobedient to teachers, and he had been in therapy with several local therapists. Developmental history revealed that mother had separation of placenta while pregnant with him. He did not crawl and was very slow in talking. He fell off a motorcycle at 2 months, and he had high fever at age 5. He was referred by local Gang Alternative Probation Department for neurofeedback and counseling.
He noticed that his anger changed very quickly and he could be more patient after a number of neurofeedback and counseling sessions. Therapists noticed that he wasn’t as impatient as the sessions continued. During the first three or four sessions, he would bang on the wall in anger when it was time to leave. He began sitting patiently through sessions. He also began talking to therapist about things happening in his life; his social skills, including “small talk”, began to improve.
He began completing his homework and even brought it to the office to complete while he waited for his father to pick him up. He noticed that he wasn’t “using” marijuana as much and asked about what neurofeedback did to his cravings. Neurofeedback seemed to ease some of the severity of the allergy problems. His eyes weren’t so dark with red circles as more neurofeedback was completed.
He had to write several essays for his probation officer, and he wrote one on neurofeedback. His father noticed many changes with him. His father noticed that his anger was less, and he was finishing his homework. He attended summer school and completed another semester of work at home on his home study.
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