Disruptive behavior disorders literally disrupt the lives of children and those around them. Children can exhibit aggressive, resentful and even vindictive behaviors, lashing out angrily at authority figures and their peers. These children may not be able to form proper social bonds, making the condition worse over time.
There are multiple diagnoses that fall under the category of Disruptive Behavior, but the primary behaviors that professionals will be considering are the acting out (externalizing) of emotions, and the frequency and persistence of those behaviors.
One of the more common disruptive behavior disorder is oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Children with ODD often have symptoms that are easy to see, including:
Though these symptoms are easy to spot, it can be difficult to tell whether a child is just being a child, if he or she has a disruptive behavior disorder, or if there is another developmental disability (such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder) at play. There are often a combination of factors(diagnoses). By consulting with child development experts, you can find out if your child has a disruptive behavior disorder and learn how to help him or her improve.
Clinicians at the Riley at IU Health Child Development Center perform comprehensive evaluations to identify disruptive behavior disorders. During the evaluation, your child's provider will take an extensive developmental history to determine any health problems, what is going on in your child’s life and the history of his or her behavior. Your provider will also be observing your child and how they behave and interact during the appointment. As the caregiver you may be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire or checklist. If needed, your child may be brought back for an appointment to undergo psychological testing, speech testing and/or a medical examination. This testing, often in the form of activities or games, lets your child’s provider identify symptoms and make an accurate diagnosis.
After the evaluation, you will receive a detailed report about your child's specific condition as well as a list of community resources that can help your child. The report allows all caregivers and healthcare professionals who care for your child to apply consistent techniques to help him or her improve.
With personalized, consistent care, you can reduce the frequency of symptoms of disruptive behavior disorders. Doctors at Riley at IU Health provide specialized care for children at the ADHD/Disruptive Behavior Disorders Program. Your child’s doctor or care team may suggest one or more of the following treatment options:
These treatments can go a long way in helping your child be more calm and in control. Treatment is essential to prevent children from becoming more violent toward themselves or others.
Visit the websites below to learn more about disruptive behavior disorders and find help.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.
HealthyChildren.org, a website from the American Academy of Pediatrics, includes in-depth information about disruptive behavior disorders and other emotional problems.
NIMH provides health topics and resources focusing on a variety of mental health topics.
Doctors at Riley at IU Health work in partnership with the Indiana University School of Medicine to study disruptive behavior. Clinical trials help discover new medicines to help children improve their behavior. Our doctors also specialize in examining aggressive behavior in children, including how it may be influenced by popular culture such as video games. These studies give doctors special insight into how to treat and identify disruptive behavior disorders.
In addition to our primary hospital location at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, IN, we have convenient locations to better serve our communities throughout the state.
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