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Disruptive Behavior Disorder

What Is Disruptive Behavior Disorder?
Disruptive behavior disorder is marked by symptoms such as defiance of authority, temper tantrums, destruction of property, bullying, and aggression toward animals. Treatment involves the family in addition to the child. Parents may learn skills to manage behaviors, and children may participate in behavior therapy. It’s important to stick to any treatment plans and emphasize positive behaviors to help promote change.

When your child’s behavior doesn’t quite fit the criteria for conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder, then he may be diagnosed with disruptive behavior disorder not otherwise specified (NOS).

If there isn’t enough information upon which to base a diagnosis or if your child struggles with symptoms indicative of both disorders, then he may be diagnosed with disruptive behavior disorder NOS as well.

10 Signs of Disruptive Behavior Disorder

  • Defies authority
  • Regular temper tantrums
  • Spiteful or vengeful behavior
  • Steals
  • Lies
  • Destroys property
  • Bullies other children
  • Breaks rules regularly
  • Aggressive toward other children and animals
  • Refuses to take responsibility for bad behavior

Environmental and Biological: There’s No One Cause

A child who struggles with disruptive behavior disorder NOS is not inherently bad. He or she likely experienced a combination of biological and environmental issues that worked together to create the inability to cope with life in a positive way. Some possible causes include:

  • Genetics. If one or both biological parents experienced the problem, it can increase the child’s likelihood of developing the disorder.
  • Stress. If living in a stressful environment, a child may respond with anger and resentment.
  • Co-occurring disorders. Diagnoses of ADHD or neurological disorders can cause the child to exhibit symptoms of disruptive behavior disorder NOS.
  • Abuse. If a child was abused at a young age, he or she may have poor behavior later.
  • Neglect. If abandoned by a parent or not provided with effective care during childhood, disruptive behavior disorder NOS can result.

Any one or combination of these issues can cause disruptive behavior disorder NOS – and none of them are the fault of the child.

The Whole Family Should Be Involved in Disruptive Behavior Disorder Treatment

Both parents and children should be heavily involved in the treatment of disruptive behavior disorder NOS so the child has the opportunity to learn new, positive ways to react and respond, and parents and teachers can support that in the home and at school. All providers should understand the skills the child is learning and learn how to support him in making better decisions by agreeing to a set plan for dealing with tantrums, outbursts and bad behavior.

Treatment should include:

  • Parent skill training
  • Behavior therapy for your child
  • School services
  • Family therapy
  • In-home therapy and support

5 Tips to Handle Your Child’s Disruptive Behavior Disorder NOS

  • Be vigilant. Your child needs more supervision than most his age.
  • Take breaks. You don’t have to be the one providing constant supervision to your child. Other caregivers can be taught how best to support your child in making better behavioral decisions.
  • Maintain emotional control. Children with disruptive behavior disorder know how to push your buttons, and they like doing it. Use respite, go to therapy, workout regularly, get a good night’s sleep, eat healthily – do what you have to do to remain calm and in control of your emotions.
  • Highlight the positive. Your child doesn’t act out all the time. Find ways to enjoy each other, take extra time out to congratulate your child on a job well done and overly emphasize his positive choices to encourage more of that behavior.
  • Stick to the behavior plan. If you are having a hard time following the plan created with healthcare professionals and followed by your child’s therapists, teachers and other caregivers do not just change it or “give in” on certain points in order to avoid a tantrum. Consistency is key so if you feel that something is genuinely not working, bring it up at the next meeting for your child.

Are you ready to get started but don’t know where to begin? Talking to one of our counselors is the best way to find an organization that can provide you with a team of professionals who can help you help your child in every forum, including school, with peers, and at home.

Call now for more information.

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