From A to Z, the Different Types of Behavioral Disorders in Children and Solutions for Each
What are behavioral disorders in children? Different types of behavioral disorders may occur in children and their severity may range depending on the child’s age and developmental stage, as well as other factors.
Behavioral disorders are usually categorized into attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and other specified or unspecified behavior disorders.
Parents are often not sure how to deal with these problems because it seems that there are so many of them and they can have various causes.
Research has shown that autism affects 1 out of 88 children born. That statistic is a little frightening. The syndrome makes it difficult for an individual to communicate, interact with others or be at ease in their surroundings.
We know more about autism now than we have ever before because scientists are starting to identify specific subgroups that all have autistic traits but manifest them differently from one another. It’s important to note that those diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome typically display milder symptoms.
To address this disorder, experts recommend social skills training and speech therapy, as well as behavior modification, plans to help the individual adjust better to society.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
The inability to concentrate attention is a hallmark of ADD. People with ADD might have difficulty concentrating on anything but can focus well if it captures their interest.
Symptoms include impulsivity, forgetfulness, lack of focus, being easily distracted, low self-esteem, and a constant need for stimulation. Furthermore, symptoms typically appear during childhood though they can manifest at any age. ADD causes hyperactivity, distractibility, and trouble sitting still.
The condition affects 4% of children worldwide. Common treatments for this disorder are stimulant medications such as Ritalin or Adderall which can help increase concentration skills and reduce impulsiveness as well as relaxants that help people with ADD stay calm.
Children with conduct disorder typically display high levels of aggression, defiance, impulsivity, and a lack of fear. This can lead to high rates of truancy, lying, breaking school rules, or breaking into houses.
The most common treatments are behavioral therapy sessions or medications such as stimulants. Hospitalization can be required in more serious situations. Oftentimes children with this disorder have had traumatic experiences like abuse or neglect that need to be addressed before any changes will take place.
Children can be diagnosed with depression if they show one or more symptoms including chronic sadness, sleeping too much or being tired all the time, being irritable all the time, not eating well or overeating, loss of interest in usual activities or favorite pastimes, less enthusiasm for going to school or even staying at home.
However, there are solutions: Catching it early on can prevent major problems later on down the line such as substance abuse. The earlier a child is treated, the better their prognosis. There are many treatments out there that could help a child get better such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), individual psychotherapy, group therapy, and family therapy.
The National Institute of Mental Health has an online resource that offers information about behavioral disorders and treatments which may help find a solution to your child’s problem(s).
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
Outward signs that someone has ODD can include them engaging in behaviors like refusing to comply with requests or rules set by others; purposefully annoying others; frequently blaming others for their own mistakes or misbehavior, and being unusually touchy or easily annoyed.
If they’re under 18 years old, they’ll likely also be defiant at home as well as in school. Treatment options vary depending on the person but often involve psychotherapy combined with behavioral therapy. Another way to help is through different types of medication.
A child with ADHD will typically have difficulty paying attention and may not listen when spoken to, making it difficult for them to concentrate during class and follow instructions. They may also have trouble playing quietly, sitting still, or waiting their turn without becoming frustrated or angry.
Other symptoms might include impulsivity (doing things without thinking), hyperactivity (constantly moving), and difficulty controlling emotions.
The APA lists different phobias that are specific to people’s most common fears. One type is acrophobia, which is a fear of heights. A person with this phobia might be afraid to go upstairs or go out on a balcony. As far as possible solutions, there are things like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy that can help alleviate symptoms.
Social anxiety: Social anxiety disorder is when someone fears being judged by others in social situations.
The types of social anxiety disorders include generalized social anxiety disorder (GAD), separation anxiety disorder, panic disorder with agoraphobia, and panic disorder without agoraphobia.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder is one behavioral disorder that children may suffer from. It occurs when a person has experienced or witnessed an event in which they felt intense fear, horror, or helplessness.
This can be a result of either experiencing a traumatic event such as being attacked physically or mentally, accidents or natural disasters; or hearing about traumatic events experienced by family members or friends; some children may even experience PTSD after a long period without any traumatizing event.
Schizophrenia Section: Tourette Syndrome
Tourette’s disease is a neurological disorder characterized by uncontrollable urges to make sounds or movements, often referred to as tics, and usually begins during childhood or adolescence.
1- Although the tics may be accompanied by physical symptoms such as head-shaking, facial grimacing, or eye blinking, they tend to be non-purposeful and can vary greatly from person to person.
2- The tics typically occur in clusters over hours or days and go away for periods of months to years before coming back.