Disruptive behavior disorders are characterized by engaging in behaviors that consistently “break the rules,” disrupt the lives of those around them, and regularly disobey authority. While some forms of oppositional behavior is common among young children and teens, children who have one of these disorders take this defiant behavior to extremes and require professional help. There are two distinct categories that disruptive behavior can be classified as: oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD). Children with oppositional defiant disorder break the rules both at home and at school. These children also regularly throw temper tantrums, fail to accept responsibility for bad behavior, and frequently rebel against parents and teachers. Boys and girls with conduct disorder display aggressive behavior that threatens others, often including cruelty toward animals. These children will lie, bully, steal, and frequently skip school. While both of these disorders need professional treatment, conduct disorder is a far more serious condition.
As a parent with a child who has a disruptive behavior disorder, life can be quite challenging. You may be in a state of constant frustration or anger because you are unable to get your child to follow the rules and behave themselves at home or school. You may even be at a point where you feel completely hopeless because you have no idea how you can get your child’s behavior under control. This is where the highly qualified staff at Ascent Children’s Health Center can help. We have lots of experience helping families who have a child with a disruptive behavior disorder. Call us today; you do not have to face this alone.
Why Seek Treatment for Disruptive Behavior Disorders?
The behaviors associated with disruptive disorders should be taken seriously due to the possibility of violent threats or acts, in order to protect not only your child, but your family as well. If not appropriately treated, these behaviors will only get worse and become more disruptive. While some defiance is normal, if your child is showing disruptive behavior in excess, they should be taken to a professional for an evaluation. Some of the warning signs for ODD and CD may include:
Oppositional Defiant Disorder:
- Excessive arguments with adults
- Refusal to follow rules
- Speaking harshly or unkindly toward others
- Demonstrating behavior that is intended to upset or annoy others
- Behavior designed to seek revenge
- Always questioning rules
- Becoming easily annoyed with others
- Blaming others for misbehavior
- Aggressive behavior toward others, such as bullying or making threats
- Chronic lying without remorse
- Stealing and destroying property
- Abusing or mistreating animals
- Threatening or using weapons
- Physically attacking others
- Inability to tolerate frustration, restrictions, or rules
If you notice any of these warning signs in your child, a day treatment or an outpatient treatment program is often a good resource for completing an evaluation and getting the help that you need. Disruptive behavior disorders are relatively common in children and with the right treatment, can be successfully treated. A treatment program can help you to learn new strategies for how to deal with your child’s disruptive behavior, help your child learn to better manage their emotions, and can get any medication that may be needed.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Ascent Children’s Health Services, we firmly believe that every child and family who comes to us for help is truly unique and is in need of personalized treatment plans that will treat those individualized characteristics. We use an eclectic approach to treatment for disruptive behavior disorders using only the therapeutic methods we believe will best help your child. All of our programs strive to enhance the emotional, social, cognitive, and physical development of each child we treat, while instilling a sense of hope and independence. Each staff member at Ascent is determined to make sure that each boy and girl gets the most appropriate and effective treatments, interventions, and therapies available.
Treatment for Disruptive Behavior Disorders at Ascent Children’s Health Center
Our multidisciplinary team is committed to help your child overcome their disruptive behavior disorder and go on to live a more productive life. After being referred to our center, your child will undergo a comprehensive evaluation that will help us determine which form of disruptive behavior disorder your child has and which treatment options would be most appropriate. Treatments for each type of behavior disorder tend to be similar, with conduct disorder requiring a few more therapeutic techniques due to the possibility of the child having an additional mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety. If this is the case for your child, both disorders will be treated at the same time. Both disorders are usually treated with a combination of medication and different therapeutic methods.
Medication: Your child’s treatment team may recommend medication to help treat their ODD or CD. Medication can help control some of the symptoms of your child’s disorder and allow them to engage more in other types of therapies. If your child is placed on medication, it will be closely monitored by their treatment team and adjusted as needed.
Social-emotional skills training: This type of therapy will help equip your child with needed socio-emotional skills. Through this type of therapy, they will learn how to identify and manage emotions, learn how to get along better with others, and learn strategies that will help them make good decisions based on thinking instead of on their emotions.
Individual therapy: Children with disruptive behavior disorders usually benefit from one-on-one psychotherapy that allows them to develop problem-solving skills, coping skills, and teaches them how to manage their anger. Children with CD may be struggling with depression or anxiety, so individual therapy will help them to process their emotions surrounding the co-occurring disorder.
Group therapy: With all of the new skills your child will be learning, group sessions are important because they allow for them to practice those social skills with other children their age. Group can help enhance positive social interactions, reinforce learned coping skills, and provide them the opportunity to practice appropriate ways to respond to real life situations.
Parent/Family involvement: Parental involvement is crucial for the treatment of a child who has ODD or CD. Family sessions are held no less than one time per month and are designed to help parents learn new strategies to manage behavior outbursts and implement a consistent daily routine. Our doctors will take the time to evaluate your interactions so that we know what needs to be done in order to improve communication. Often times children with ODD or CD benefit from having behavior contracts that reward good behavior and implement consequences for bad behavior.
In addition to our treatment programs Ascent offers a number of holistic methods, which may include:
- Sensory rooms
- Handwriting Without Tears
- Therapy gyms
- Nutrition and meal planning
Continued Care and Levels of Treatment
At Ascent Children’s Health Services, we offer a number of programs designed to meet all of your child’s needs. Our Child Health Management Services (CHMS) is designed for children who have developmental disorders and focuses on managing those conditions and any co-occurring conditions. CHMS is offered as a day treatment or an outpatient basis. We also offer Rehabilitative Services for Persons with Mental Illness (RSPMI), which is a program for children struggling with various mental health conditions at the day treatment or outpatient program level. We will make sure that your child is enrolled in the least restrictive setting based upon the findings of the treatment team.
Each year, we will conduct assessments and evaluations to determine if your child is still in need of our services. If your child is ready to step-down into another program, Ascent offers a formal discharge transition to ensure that there is a set plan for continuing treatment needs when the time for discharge approaches. Your child may transition from our day program to our outpatient program or from our outpatient program into the public school system. We’ll continue to monitor your child’s progress and ensure that the aftercare plan meets all of his or her ongoing treatment needs. We also offer follow-up visits to your home to check in on your child’s progress.