Behavioral disorders can be hard to identify because they resemble typical childhood problems like defiance, anger, aggression, and hyperactivity.
The difference between normal childhood challenges and behavioral disorders is this: Disorders cause persistent behaviors that occur on most days, last for at least six months, and cause problems in school, at home, and in social circumstances.
Behavioral disorders include:
A few other conditions, including antisocial personality disorder, kleptomania, and pyromania, are also considered to be behavioral disorders.
Though some symptoms overlap between the different disorders, each one is identified by specific behaviors:
Children with ADHD have symptoms related to inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, or both. Inattention includes having a hard time focusing and not being organized enough to complete tasks.
If your child has hyperactive-impulsive symptoms, they may talk excessively, be constantly moving and restless, struggle to sit still, and have a hard time waiting or taking turns.
ODD causes an ongoing pattern of angry, argumentative, and disobedient behaviors. Children with ODD:
ODD typically appears before the age of 8 but causes obvious behaviors before the age of 12.
Children with DMDD have frequent and severe temper tantrums that affect their ability to function. While all children occasionally have temper tantrums, those with DMDD have severe outbursts at least three times a week. Their tantrums are extreme in relation to the reason for their outburst, and the tantrums are inappropriate for their age.
Children with IED are repeatedly aggressive. They may be verbally aggressive and engage in arguments or verbal fights. They can also be physically aggressive. Their physical aggression may or may not cause injury to others or damage property.
In both verbal and physical aggression, the severity of their behavior is far out of proportion to whatever triggered their outburst.
CD is characterized by repetitive and persistent problems following rules, respecting others, and behaving in socially acceptable ways. Children with CD may lack empathy and engage in disturbing behaviors, such as:
They may also use weapons ranging from a bat to a knife or gun.
The team at High Desert Psychological Services tailors each child’s treatment to meet their unique needs. They always follow a strength-based approach and build upon your child’s abilities. They often use solution-focused and cognitive behavioral techniques to help children learn to recognize and control difficult behaviors.
If your child needs help for a behavioral disorder, call High Desert Psychological Services or book an appointment online today.