Disturbed Children

November 12, 2012

Disturbed Children

The behavior of disturbed children who have severe emotional or behavioral problems affects most aspects of the life of the child and their family.

The behavior of disturbed children affects their education and also the ability to learn social skills which plays a large part of schooling and everyday life. Their ability to succeed academically and socially is considerably reduced.

Approximately 1% of school age children have been labeled as disturbed children and males appear to be the most affected by this disorder. There has been research carried out which indicates that minority groups are over-represented in this category of disability in comparison to students who are Caucasian. Factors which may explain the behavior of these children varies. It may be there are neurobiological reasons, e.g. difficulty paying attention, impulsive behavior. Other issues which have

been suggested in causing this behavior are coming from a home with only one parent and poverty within the household.

Many skilled teachers experience sheer frustration when they have no control over a class of students. But dealing with a child who is disturbed is very challenging. This behavior ranges from dumb insolence such as placing their head on a desk and not paying attention to displaying aggression, defiance and tantrums. This affects their development socially and academically.

Even the most experienced teacher can feel emotionally drained after teaching children who are severely affected with behavioral problems such as disturbed children. Most teachers in schools do not have enough experience on how to deal with the defiance, verbal harassment, physical aggression, tantrums and insolence of some of these children. More and more young children are attending main stream education and it is crucial for teachers to understand the requirements of disturbed children. In a recent survey it was found that teachers were requesting the correct tools in place to help them teach children with this disorder.

Teachers can achieve success with disturbed children. They can put into place consistent strategies which deal with the behavior and management of the classroom. Support from other teaching colleagues is a great benefit too.

The definition of the term disturbed children is based on the appearance of more than one of the characteristics listed below which is affecting the child’s ability to learn. This assessment would be carried out over a period of time and a decision would then be made whether the child qualifies for assistance.

  • Development of physical symptoms or fears which are linked to school and social aspects

  • Constant feelings of depression and unhappiness

  • Inability to maintain or make interpersonal relationships with teachers and peers

  • Inappropriate behavior

  • Inability to learn, which is not linked to intellect, sensory or health reasons

Children who suffer from schizophrenia or have autism are included in the category of disturbed children. It does not apply to children who are unstable or confused due to family or personal circumstances except in the cases where they have been described as seriously disturbed.

It is a requirement of children who show signs of behavioral problems to be supported in a positive manner. This can be achieved with the teacher and the other agencies working together to provide the best possible care.

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