When your child is exhibiting signs of behavioral issues or disorders at school, whether that be difficulty concentrating, distracting other children, emotional outbursts, or even aggressive behavior, your first feeling might be one of helplessness. Not knowing why they are behaving this way, or how to resolve these issues can be overwhelming. Knowing the indications of common behavioral disorders, as well as the tools and resources you can utilize to help your child, can help you feel more prepared to deal with these issues.

Types of Behavioral Disorders

There are many different types of behavioral disorders that may affect children; they can include anxiety disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, and emotional disorders. The most common behavioral issues include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), anxiety, emotional behavioral disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). ADHD is characterized by difficulty focusing and keeping still, so children may be seen as disruptive or distracting. ODD may explain angry outbursts, hostile and disobedient behavior, and irritability. Children affected by anxiety and emotional behavioral disorders may feel extreme stress or fear, have difficulty in interpersonal interactions and relationships, and unexplained, prolonged feelings of unhappiness that may begin to effect school performance. OCD often manifests as repetitive, compulsive behaviors or thoughts, or feelings of fear, discomfort, or anxiety.

The causes for these disorders can range from biological, to distress or changes in the home, to relationships with peers, to attitude toward or difficulty in school.

What You Can Do 

If your child is demonstrating behaviors that are disrupting their daily life, or causing problems in the classroom, it may be worthwhile to seek advice from a school psychologist, who can offer evaluations and assessments to determine what the challenge might be, and materials and guidance to get on the right path. While these behavioral disorders can be challenging and frustrating for both parent and child, knowing that you are not the only one facing them, and that there are professionals and resources who are there to help, offers some comfort, as well as insight into how these challenges can be navigated and overcome. 

At School Psychology and Educational Solutions, Inc., Dr. Elisa Yoho offers services and evaluations in Brevard County for children who may be experiencing difficulties like these in the classroom. Contact her by email at elisa@spaesi.com, or by phone at ( 321) 594-2536.