The Attitude Guide - Spotting Behavioral Issues in School
SPONSORED BY: The Brain Wave Center
There are two broad categories of behavior problems in school. One includes the mischief that most students are capable of (occasionally skipping class, copying someone else’s homework, teasing a classmate); the kinds of things we all did (or thought about doing) while growing up. We refer to these as garden-variety misbehavior. Generally harmless, students do them consciously but without really meaning to hurt anyone.
But there is a second category of behavior problems that are more serious and more persistent. Far from being harmless, these behaviors are not only more disruptive, sometimes they are downright dangerous. Fortunately, only a small number of students (about 20%) display these kinds of behaviors. Of this number about 15% pose a significant challenge to teachers and administrators. The remaining 5% suffer from serious mental health conditions and their behavior poses a real threat to the orderly operation of their schools and to the health and safety of teachers as well as other students.
It is now well-documented that many students in this group suffer from abuse and neglect, they witness domestic violence, they have been diagnosed with mental illness, and they sometimes live in dangerous areas with high crime rates. In addition to the challenges students with behavior problems pose, it is important to remember that these same students also experience a range of emotional disorders. According to Boston Children’s Hospital, these emotional symptoms can include:
• Easily getting annoyed by others.
• Often appears angry.
• Puts the blame on others.
• Refuses to follow rules; questions/challenges authority.
• Throws temper tantrums.
• Has difficulty handling frustration.
Disruptive behavioral disorders are complicated and may include many different factors working in combination. For example, students who are oppositional or who can’t regulate their emotions may also have ADHD, anxiety, depression, or just a very dysfunctional home life.
Professional and/or clinical therapist such as the Brain Wave Center can help recognize emotional and behavioral disorders. These disorders can have multiple causes and symptoms. They should offer a wide range of diagnostic procedures and tools that include:
• Diagnosis by a specialist, which may include a pediatrician, psychologist, or child psychiatrist
• In-depth interviews with the parents, children, and teachers
• Behavior checklists and standardized questionnaires.
• Quantitative Electroencephalograph (qEEG) brain maps and analysis
• Standardized assessment instruments (IQ, achievement, cognitive processing)
• Analysis of environmental stressors (e.g., domestic violence, divorce, parenting style)
A diagnostic process that includes multi-instrument, multi-informant procedures helps to ensure a more comprehensive analysis of a child’s emotional and behavioral difficulties. These assessment procedures, in conjunction with an evaluation of the child’s family dynamics and environmental stressors, provide a more precise analysis of possible causes as well as a clearer and more comprehensive view of the child’s overall functional status.
The Brain Wave Center is excited to announce their partnership with the Psychological Associates of Central Florida (PACFLORIDA) to offer Brain Mapping and Neurofeedback training to their patients in Lakeland and bringing Dr. Marshall’s neuropsychology experience to Sarasota. For more information please give us a call at 941-552-4500 or visit us on line at www.BrainWaveCenters.com.