Realizing that your child might have a behavior disorder problem can be a frightening experience. However, knowing that you have taken the first step towards helping your child by recognizing the problem can certainly help. Common signs of behavior disorder problems include withdrawal from friends and family, loss of interest in usual activities, cruelty or violent behavior, or changes in sleeping and eating patterns. When a parent recognizes these behaviors in their child, what should they do next?
Early intervention is always best. Just as treating a cold is easier than treating pneumonia, treating a behavior disorder problem in its infancy is easier than treating a well-established pattern of behavior. Although it may be difficult to face a behavior disorder problem at first, delaying treatment or ignoring symptoms is not a good strategy.
If you believe your child may have a behavior disorder problem, one of the first steps you should take is to document your child’s symptoms. Contact a counselor or therapist, explain your concerns, and schedule an evaluation. The list of symptoms will come in handy during the first call or visit so that during this stressful time you don’t accidentally omit important information.
Next, gather as much information as you can about your child’s behavior disorder or suspected problem. Compare your notes and list of symptoms with the information you find. Be involved as possible in your child’s treatment. If one is available, consider joining a support group for parents of children with behavior disorder problems. Also, be sure and discuss your child’s diagnosis and treatment with his or her school counselor so they can also assist your child and be on the lookout for any dangerous behaviors.
During treatment, restrict your child from viewing violence on television or in video games, or from any activity that could be detrimental to treating their disorder. Spend extra time with your child, and practice patience. Avoid aggressive discipline such as spanking.
As treatment continues there will be times of progress and times of setback. Perhaps one of the best descriptions of overcoming a behavior disorder problem is that of climbing a sandy hill. There may be forward motion, but no actual climbing. There may be rapid forward motion, followed by a period of being stuck in the sand. And there certainly will be times of sliding backward. Be gentle with your child and yourself, and let your child know that you have confidence they will eventually succeed.
HYPERLINK “http://childparenting.about.com/cs/disorders/a/behaviordisorde.htm” http://childparenting.about.com/cs/disorders/a/behaviordisorde.htm