Emotional and behavioral disorders can also be referred to as behavioral and emotional disorders. Children with emotional and behavioral disorders are characterized by learning inabilities, inability to build interpersonal relations with peers, unreasonable and unexplainable fears, and chronic behaviors under usual conditions (Ogundele, 2018). More often, emotional and behavioral disorders entail the classification of disability deployed in educational institutions allowing schools to avail special education needs to students with unsatisfactory social and academic progress. This disorder is characterized by deficits, excesses, and behavioral disturbances. The difficulty of such children is based emotionally and cannot be explained using cultural, sensory, intellectual, or general health factors (Ogundele, 2018). Children with emotional and behavioral disorders are always categorized as those with emotional and behavioral disorders after a functional behavior analysis is conducted on them. To assist them, these children require appropriate behavior support interventions to enable them to receive proper and quality basic education. In retrospect, this essay discusses the influences of emotional and behavioral disorders among children.
Children with emotional and behavioral disorders often exhibit a wide array of unique behaviors and characteristics. Mathur et al. (2018) explain that these behaviors always negatively impact their academic performance and general success in educational institutions. Just like other children with disabilities, they encounter difficulties in learning processes in various areas of content like reading, spelling, and solving mathematical problems. They also face a challenge in coexisting with others and maintaining social relationships with peers (Mathur et al., 2018). Other character traits portrayed by children with emotional and behavioral disorders include; aggression, noncompliance, and disrespect towards adults and authorities. As a result of these behavioral challenges, they encounter predicaments such as marginalization from access to quality access, identity crisis, and bullying from peers. Besides, others experience exclusion from educational access and lack of quality education due to discrimination by peers and teachers.
Emotional and behavioral disorders can also be categorized into internalizing and externalizing disorders (Ogundele, 2018). Internalizing disorders are disorders that are experienced by individuals who keep their problems and challenges to themselves, thereby internalizing them. Behaviors portrayed by children with internalized emotional and behavioral disorders include anxiety, depression, loneliness, and withdrawals. Alternatively, children with externalized disorders experience maladaptive behaviors, which impair the way their life functions. Externalized emotional and behavioral disorders are also known as disruptive behaviors (Mathur et al., 2018). Later on, in the child's life, emotional challenges such as post-traumatic disorders, depression, and anxiety tend to become part of them. These traits are challenging for their parents and teachers to recognize in the initial stages since these children are young to express themselves in proper language and expressions.
Strengths and Weakness of Child with Emotional, Social and Behavioral Disorders
The Strengths of a Child With EBDs
Emotional and behavioral disorders are challenging situations that do not reveal many strengths in children with these disorders. Even though children with emotional and behavioral disorders are disadvantaged in the learning environment and the general society, they could also use these disorders to their advantage (Ogundele, 2018). In the view of Ogundele (2018), children with such disorders can use their challenging behaviors from the existing disorder to enhance sensory stimulation or avoid overwhelming demands from peers and teachers. Also, they can use it to gain the attention of caregivers of special needs and escape communication burdens that result from their limited skills of communication and interaction. All these strengths arise from the perception that they are limited in activities and are overwhelmed by challenging behaviors.
The Weaknesses of a Child With EBDs
Children with emotional and behavioral disorders face various challenges as they try to fit into a society that misjudges, discriminates, and deprives them of basic needs such as access to the quality education they may be struggling to pursue (Mathur et al., 2018). According to Frey et al. (2017), challenging behaviors are some of the most dominant weaknesses in children with emotional and behavioral disorders. Some of the challenging behaviors faced by children with emotional and behavioral disorders include verbal aggression, self-injury, various stereotypes, noncompliance, physical aggression, inappropriate vocalizations, and disruption of the learning environment (Mathur et al., 2018). Often, these behaviors disrupt the child's learning ability, face restrictions on social opportunities, and segregation from ordinary activities. Making such children feel comfortable in their learning environment without disruptions or discrimination demands a lot of financial resources and human resources that can help in managing these children effectively. Also, children with emotional and behavioral disorders face the burden of a lack of coping skills and strategies.
Case Example of 10 Year Old Child With Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Children with emotional and behavioral disorders face various disturbances, and these challenges are difficult to notice either by their parents or tutors. Like in the case of Ben, a nine-and-a-half-year-old boy who was suffering from emotional and behavioral disorders, his parents were completely unaware of his condition. Ben was first categorized as a child with emotional and behavioral disorders long after experiencing various challenging behaviors. Initially, Ben used to portray characters and tendencies like abnormal mood swings, distorted thinking, excessive anxiety, and sometimes, hyper-reactions and causing disturbances. Before his condition was identified, Ben never revealed any signs or indications of emotional disturbance, which is usually the case during the development of children. Over time, Ben began to portray signs of emotional imbalance, which led to the development of aggressive behaviors and withdrawals from his peers. Ben's thinking, social, and cognitive skills got distorted, and he was no longer the active boy that his parents knew. These changes were revealed by his deteriorating class performances and the inability to grasp information faster. Also, his teachers often complained of his aggressive behaviors and lack of concentration in class, noncompliance, and withdrawal from peers.
It is the complaint of his teachers that made his parents seek the attention of psychiatrists who could understand and diagnose Ben with suitable intervention programs. After frequent medical examinations via a functional behavior analysis tool, Ben was found to exhibit emotional and behavioral tendencies that compelled his parents to seek suitable interventions to help him in his healthy life and studies. Ben went through various behavioral and psychological interventions, such as the social communication intervention, which helped in boosting his communication skills in the classroom and for interacting with friends. He also went through positive behavioral interventions and support that enabled him to reduce his aggressive behaviors and withdrawals emerging from his emotional and behavioral disorders. Today, Ben has shown tremendous improvement with reduced stress, anxiety, and depression levels. He also does not withdraw from his peers in their free time at school.
Frey, A. J., Lee, J., Small, J. W., Walker, H. M., Seeley, J. R., Lane, K. L., ... & Charlin, M. (2017). Emotional & Behavioral Disorders in Youth. Teaching Exceptional Children, 35(5), 66-75. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/94ea/a55f0fded6866f47c196771a8235d56c2205.pdf
Mathur, S. R., Griller Clark, H., LaCroix, L., & Short, J. (2018). Based Practices for Reintegrating Students With Emotional and Behavioral Disorders From the Juvenile Justice System. Beyond Behavior, 27(1), 28-36. doi: 10.1177/1074295617728508
Ogundele, M. O. (2018). Behavioral and emotional disorders in childhood: A brief overview of pediatricians. World journal of clinical pediatrics, 7(1), 9-26. doi: 10.5409/wjcp.v7.i1.9
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