Causes of Emotional and Behavioral Disorder

A condition exhibiting one or more of the
following characteristics over a long period of
time and to a marked degree that adversely
affects educational performance:
An inability to learn that cannot be explained by
intellectual, sensory, or health factors;
An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal
relationships with peers and teachers;
Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal
A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression
A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears
associated with personal or school problems.
 It
is estimated that 1 in 5 children and
adolescents may have a mental health
disorder that can be identified and require
 Some disorders are more common than
others and conditions range from mild to
 A child often has more than one disorder.
 Biology
Chemical Imbalances in the Body
Damage to the central nervous system
Brain injury
 Environment
Exposure to violence
Extreme stress
Loss of an important person
 Family
The relationship children have with their
parents, particularly during the early years, is
critical to the way they learn to act.
Interactions between parents and their child
influences the child's opinions, behaviors, and
One factor associated with emotional problems is
child abuse. Child abuse may result in poor
impulse control and poor self-concepts.
Aggression and anger are often noticed in
children who have been abused.
Severe Depression
Bipolar Disorder
Conduct Disorder
Eating Disorders
Most common of childhood disorders
 Signs:
Phobias of objects or situations
Patterns of excessive, unrealistic worry that cannot be
attributed to any recent experience
Panic disorder which causes ‘panic attacks’ that includes
physical symptoms, such as a rapid heartbeat and dizziness.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder causes children to become
trapped in a pattern of repeated thoughts or behaviors
Post-traumatic stress disorder – causes a pattern of
flashbacks and other symptoms which occurs to children who
have experienced a psychologically distressing event, such as
abuse, being a victim or witness of violence, or being
exposed to war or natural disasters
 Team
with parents to develop strategies
 Encourage completion of activities and
 Allow extra time
 Develop and follow a regular classroom
 Write schedule on the board so there are no
Can occur at any age
 Studies show that 2 of every 100 children may
have major depression and 8 of every 100
adolescents may be affected.
 Signs:
Children often feel sad, cry, or feel worthless
 Lost interest in play activities and schoolwork
 Changes in appetite or sleeping patterns; vague
physical complaints
 Believe they are ugly, unable to do anything right, or
that the world or their life is hopeless
All of these symptoms could easily lead to suicide as
 Develop
a relationship with the student
 Do not be critical; give extra support and
encouragement when needed
 Make adjustments in assignments and tasks
when necessary
 Provide extra opportunities for success
 Seek extra help from support personnel, if
 Demonstrate
exaggerated mood swings that
range from extreme highs (excitement) to
extreme lows (depression).
 Periods of moderate mood occur in between
the extreme highs and lows.
 During their high extreme, students may talk
nonstop, need very little sleep, and show
unusually poor judgment.
 During their low extreme, students will
undergo severe depression
 Minimize
surprises throughout the day
 Eliminate distractions and chaos in the
 Keep variety in the lessons
 Help organize the student
 Allow breaks when needed
 Give permission to go see a counselor when
experiencing difficulty
 The
offenses students commit around this
disorder often grow more serious over time
 These offenses include: lying, theft,
aggression, truancy, the setting of fires, and
 Students have little concern for others
 The repeatedly violate the basic rights of
others and the rules of society
 They act out their feelings or impulses in
destructive ways
 Avoid
giving ultimatums – use options instead
 Do not touch the students
 Consider a work experience program
 Develop a plan ahead of time in case of a
rage-full experience
 Don’t carry a grudge against the student; be
able to start over
 Select materials that are relevant to their
 This
occurs to children and adolescents who
are intensely afraid of gaining weight and do
NOT believe they are underweight.
 This can be life threatening.
 The two most common are anorexia nervosa
and bulimia nervosa.
 Children with anorexia nervosa have
difficulty maintaining a healthy body weight.
 Children with bulimia nervosa feel compelled
to binge and rid the food from their bodies
by vomiting, abusing laxatives, taking
enemas, or exercising obsessively.
An impulsive focus on healthy food and nutrition
 Avoiding fat and being extremely picky in the
food he/she eats
 Starting diets to lose weight or become
 Skipping meals
 Lying about the foods they’ve eaten and how
much they’ve eaten
 Worrying about their weight or being dissatisfied
with how they look
 Significant weight loss
 Dizziness and fainting
 Being cold all the time
 Having constant stomach problems
 Avoid
negative attention to their weight,
body image, or eating disorder
 Help the student to set realistic goals
 Be flexible with tests and classroom
 Encourage a supportive classroom
 Never force a student to participate in a
group activity
 Young
people have psychotic periods that
may involve:
withdrawal from others
loss of contact with reality
 Other
symptoms include:
Delusional or disordered thoughts
Inability to experience pleasure
Lack of trust
Problems completing tasks
 Break
down tasks into smaller pieces
 Try to avoid sensory overload
 Give short, concise directions
 Negotiate attendance if necessary
 Alternative assignments
 Allow breaks
 Be accepting, caring, and supportive
“Children’s Mental Health Facts”. National Mental Health
Information Center,
-0006/default.asp>. 2 Nov. 2009.
This website is a component of the Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Services Administration’s National Mental
Health Information Center. It provides information on
different emotional and behavioral disorders. It provides
services for the families of the mentally disabled.
 Henry, Lori. “Eating Disorder Symptoms and Warning
Signs” Suite101,
disorder_symptoms>. 8 Oct. 2007. 2 Nov. 2009.
This website is an article database which contains over 400
topics of different information from various skilled writers.
This website gives articles describing the different
disorders along with their symptoms.

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