Behavior disorders, also known as disruptive behavioral disorders, are the most common reasons that parents are told to take their children for mental health assessments.

They are also very common in adults and if left untreated in childhood it can negatively affect someone’s ability to maintain positive relationships as well as their ability to hold down jobs. Behavior disorders can be broken down into a couple of different subcategories. These include: anxiety disorders, dissociative disorders, emotional disorders, and pervasive developmental disorder.

Anxiety is a normal emotion however some people get to a point were it intereferes with their daily life and can negatively impact their performance at school or work. Emotional Behavior Disorder or EBD can affect a person’s ability to be happy as well as control their emotions. This could become a problem while in school. Mental health professionals and treatment centers can evaluate people to determine if they have a behavior disorder. Tests called functional behavioral assessments offer problem-solving help to address behavioral problems in students.

Some people may receive medication to help manage their behavior disorder. Though the medication will not cure their disorder, it can assist in treatment and can help control their behaviors. Most children with behavior disorders often achieve academically below their peers in writing, reading, and mathematics. A few accommodations and modifications that teachers can use in the classroom to support students with behavior disorders by setting up personal goals so the student can succeed in the classroom. The teacher cannot give into a students behavior if they are prone to outbursts and/or disobedience. If the teacher does so it only validates the child’s behavior. Instead, caregivers needs to challenge students to keep them learning new skills. There are quite a few teaching strategies that you can implement in a classroom that has a student or many students with behavior disorders.

The most important strategy I believe is rewarding positive behavior. Many students who have behavior disorders, especially emotional behavior, view any type of discipline as a personal attack therefore they very seldom learn from it. If teachers try and celebrate positive behavior and success in the classroom the students will start to see them as an ally instead of an adversary.

In turn, this will motivate them to want to behave in the classroom and strive to do well. Another big strategy to use in the classroom for EBD students is the use of mini-breaks. Many of these students lack the emotional balance and maturity needed to stay on task and focused for extended periods of time. A teacher needs to build in short or mini-breaks to allow these students time to get out of their seats, stretch, or walk around the room if needed. This strategy allows for the students to burn off excess energy they may have gotten from sitting still for a long period of time.

You may even start to notice that these strategies are probably helping non-EBD students in class as well.


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