Getting Help for a Child with a Behavior Disorder

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My son is in the 10th grade. He has a behavior disorder and he can’t control himself at times. The school does not understand when he gets agitated and angry. They just suspend him and deprive him of his education.

You say your son has a behavior disorder. Many kids with learning disabilities develop behavior problems. If the school doesn’t teach them the skills they need, they become angry, frustrated, and depressed. Then the school labels them as “behavior disordered” or “emotionally disturbed.”

  • Is he under the care of a mental health professional?

If not, he needs this right away.

By suspending him repeatedly, the school is putting him at high risk for dropping out.

  • Does he have an IEP?

If yes, what services is the school supposed to provide? Are they providing these services?

  • If he doesn’t have an IEP, you should get an evaluation by an independent evaluator.

The evaluator will determine what his needs are and what type of educational program he needs. The evaluator can help advocate for him with the school. A mental health person can also help you learn how to advocate for him.

At this point, you have educators who have little or no training in mental health and behavioral problems dealing with him, mainly by suspending him (which isn’t a punishment for many kids).

  • Is he under the care of a child psychiatrist?

If not, that’s your first step. You also need to get a comprehensive evaluation to find out what is going on with him, why he can’t control himself, and how to help him get himself under control. The child psychiatrist should be able to recommend a good child or neuro-psychologist.

Bottom line: You can’t tackle these problems successfully unless or until you have good diagnostic testing and data.

You’ll find more information and resources on Behavior Problems and Discipline at http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/discipl.index.htm

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252 Comments on "Getting Help for a Child with a Behavior Disorder"

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I need help with my 10 year old. I do not know what is going on with her but I am hitting so many walls can someone help me so I know what my next step is I have had her in treatment centers and counseling for 3 years and not getting anywhere.

I know this is old but Ill take a shot anyway. You need to have daughter evaluated. You can do this by going to the district office and filling out the paperwork there. Once you sign off the school has 60 days to do the testing needed to find out what is going on with your daughter. Once that happens their will be meeting to go over the results and if you disagree with any of them you can have her independently evaluated at the districts expense. I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

My son who is 19 does have bipolar disorder and has bad behavior. I had him tested and his IQ is only 58 and like I have stated he is in counseling but that isn’t really working as I hoped. He doesn’t understand half what his counselor tells him. He has very limited understanding.
What can I do for him? Is there other help that I can give him? I tried to find parenting classes so I can learn to deal with my son,and unfortunately my county that I live in doesn’t offer help like that for parents. What can I do and why can’t I get the right kind of help for my son and for myself?

My son is 11 and will not go to school. we have called the police to school. please help i dont want dss getting involved again.

Have you thought about homeschooling? Acellus is 30 dollars a month and he can still get his HS diploma.

Virginia you need to find out why he does not want to go to school. Is he being bullied? Is the work too hard? Are his teachers not listening to his concerns. I would start by asking him and tell him to just tell the truth and you all will figure this out. Homeschooling can be an option but try to find out what is going on.

It is so sad that a child is expected to act perfectly as they are strapped behind a desk behind school doors. Schools should be more focused on life skills and how to cope with and solve actual life situations instead of fractions. If we all cared more about each other we could build relationships and character traits to help us overcome anything life throws at us. Anger is a god-given emotion and there is a reason behind every outburst. The hard part is figuring out the hidden reason

My 6 yr old is out of control. I’m getting calls from the school that she kicks kids and even spits and pokes the kids, even teachers. She destroyed the principal’s office. She continues getting suspended. I don’t have access to get her seen at the Dr.

Go to the district office and fill out the form to request testing for special education services. Once you sign the school has 60 days to do the testing needed. If you disagree with the results you can have your daughter tested independently at the districts expense.

Rashetta let me tell you you’ve just described my son. After an awful year he’s at a place in Oregon that has done well for 3 kids that I know. One parent is placing another child as I write. Its called Scotts Valley boarding school. I am a parent I don’t have any thing to do with the school. You can find some good schools this is the most cost effective. They can finish high school here 🙂 Very happy.

Please is there anyone out there who can help me my son is Adhd and here recently he been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He gets in to trouble all of time at school because of his anger. Been in ale program since eighth grade. He’s been suspended so many times because they don’t know what else to do so he’s failing school. I don’t want that for my son because he has learning disabilities. He has an IEP so suspending him is not helping him. Been in counseling for about four years. I’m so stressed out about his behavior. He hates everyone, he’s disrespectful and aggressive at time with his sisters and little brother. I don’t no what to do, please help.

A little under 2 years ago when my son was 14 he witnessed his father kill himself, inflicted with a gunshot. When he was younger he was diagnosed with autism. Since this has happened he has become very violent with myself and his 2 sisters. He spent 3 months in juvenile, please give me guidanc. I don’t want to lose him.

Edna first I am so sorry for your loss. Have you has your son in any type of counseling. To witness that has probably scarred him and maybe suffering from PTSD. I would have him evaluated either through the school or independently to see what else is going on.

My grandson has been kicked out of public school and now in a behavior school. They have kicked him out of this school unless we put him on alderoll and abiafy (did not know how to spell these drugs). He is home vomiting and is sick. We at home, have no problems with him. Yes he can’t sit still sometimes and he will hit other children if they hit him or if he thinks they are trying to hurt him. By the schools kicking him out, he is behind in his schooling. Don’t understand a behavior school can’t deal with him.

My 16 year old son has bad anger problem but only towards his father and I. He was baker acted once 6 mths ago and now again. I would like to know if anyone knows of a place that we can send him for 30+ days. He refuses to do anything when we tell him. He needs help, he threatens to hurt himself. I am beside myself and I don’t want him to think that we are abandoning him. I live in florida and need help. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I have a godson. His mom doesn’t want him. What should I do?

Valerie I’m gonna need some context…

I have a 5 yr old son. He just started kindergarten and everyday he gets in trouble for hitting and not keeping his hands to himself..sometimes he will try and leave class if he gets mad..I need help any advice will do please.

I have an 11 year old son who has been labeled with the emotional disturbance. I have been trying to get him help and haven’t really been sure where to go. I had a meeting with the school and they convinced me to put him in containment classes.I just had a meeting with the teachers and the assistant principal yesterday about my son being in containment classes. His case manager said to me that after they did their benchmark testing in language arts the teachers felt that he did not belong in containment classes and said that he needed to be put in general education setting with support. I spoke with the AP about moving my son out of containment classes and into inclusion classes. Despite the fact that the teachers stated he doesn’t belong in containment classes the assistant principal, based in the past from elementary school, does. I want him out.

If i get a behavioral evaluation from my child’s teacher and have the doctor look at it, test my son for adhd or add, does the teacher have authority to force me to give my son medication if the doctor recommended it? Also, Can the teacher move into another class just because i requested the behavioral evaluation form to be filled? I just really am concerned about these questions because somebody i know told me these things could happen!

My 9 year old grandson has adhd and very bad anger problems. Are there any places that can take him and watch him to get his medication right? He’s been on different kinds but I think he needs help that his case worker and I can’t figure out. I need help

My son is in jail for a rape that a girl said he done 7 years ago. is now 27. He would have been 19 at the time of the rape. He was tested three times last year with a IQ of 53,62 and 64. He was in special Ed in school for 13 years’ Is there anything out there to help him.

My son is 8 & has been in special classes & on a IEP plan since kindergarten. Now he’s in 3rd grade. First 9 weeks was wonderful but since then it’s like I really don’t know how to explain. But I do know that lately I dread picking him up from school because of what his teacher will say & after I cry alot. I’m doing this by myself & it’s hard. I don’t know what else to do besides homeschool. He’s in a class that suppose to help but all I gear is complaints. Any advice?? From North Carolina

My son is in a Charter school right now in NJ. He has a learning disability. I was told that is on a 3rd grade level and he’s in the tenth grade. He also has behavior issues and the school he basically trying to get him out there trying to send him to Job Corp in Edison NJ I dont think he’s ready for that change and I need for him to attend a school that can help him be successful.

I work for Head Start we have so many children 3 -4 years of age who are out of control. Hitting kicking biting bullying. The public schools are telling me they do not offer services for pre-k children. We have had to shorten some of the children’s time in HS. We have child development specialists in the centers to help with the children but we are still failing these children. How can I get the LEA to assist us with this problem.

I am raising my 8 year old granddaughter and she seems to keep getting worse. I bought her children’s fish oil, and she has been taking this for about a month and this does not help at all. Her school has no one who can help children with ADHD, she was just recently asked to leave school because they just could not deal with her, that they needed a break! This saddens me, I do not want to put her on any medications and want to try as many alternatives that I can. She has even made up her own saying ” Hocus Pocus help me focus”. She really wants to be able to learn and pay attention to the teacher, she has even asked to have walls put all around her and just have a small opening so she can see her teacher. I do not think that it is fair or right that her school can kick her out and deny her a education. This is what her school does.

Honestly, if she had diabetes or asthma would you deny her medications to help her feel better? You might be amazed at the difference and how much her confidence can increase. Just a thought! Obviously, you have to do what is right for your family. I fought it for years with my daughter and the teachers said the same thing about her. I finally agreed to vyvanse and she went from failing and being in trouble all the time to straight A’s happy and making friends.

I have a 8 year old child with a bad behavior problems in school. I am struggling with him at home also. I want help with him please.

My granddaughter has an IEP in place, for (SED) I’ve had at least 4 meetings, the Principal refuses to attend. For the inital meeting, she sent someone in her place, but I was told that this person does not have an admin. degree, on my paper work it clearly state that the administrator will be in attendance. Does this make the IEP invalid if she does not sign off on it?

My 10th grade son has an IEP and has a long history of counseling and medications for… nothing specific! No one has ever been able to diagnose him, with the exception of “traits of Aspbergers” from Children’s Hospital. I decided to try another counseling facility two weeks ago and while they could not diagnose him, they started him on Risperdal for a mood disorder / social awkwardness. Since he was actually admitted to their facility for 5 days, the school insisted on giving him their own risk assessment test in spite of him showing massive improvement and enthusiasm for returning to school. The RAT showed a “moderate” risk for destructive behavior and now they will not re-admit him. They have offered hospital school, but our counselors don’t agree with the school at all. What recourse do I have? He needs to be back in school.

My son is 20 and still in school. He has Down Syndrome and violent behavior. His expressive skills are very poor. He keeps attacking people for no apparent reason. He now lives in a group home because we couldn’t handle it at home anymore. He is under the care of a psychiatrist and taking meds to help with his behavior. The school suspended him yesterday for attacking a staff member. I don’t know what to do. It’s difficult to get him to cooperate with tests.

What can a licensed special education substitute teacher do to determine whether a student is receiving his/her services?

My son was originally diagnosed as CD then they changed the label to ED. I requested an IEE then the district changed the label back to CD after agreeing with the IEE. I said all the time my son is frustrated with the work so he acts out. He is under the care of a psychiatrist, has a mentor, has caseworkers. I say as parents we know our children and we are their first advocates, so take that stand for them.

Parents really need to visit their child’s classes to determine whether their child’s I.E.P. is being honored or brushed over. Now that I substitute teach I am seeing schools talking the talk but dropping the ball on providing necessary accommodations as described in I.E.P.’s. This is a violation of the federal law and schools should be held accountable for it. If they cannot provide the accommodations, then it is their responsibility to find someone who can.

What if the child has all the criteria listed above and the school does not comply with the IEP, Mental Health, Professional Behavorist or listen to the parents? What avenues do we persue?

How would I advocate for a client 11 years old n both the personal and professional setting who has a learning disability and behavioral problems in school and is extremely depressed and just doesn’t care about living anymore. I am worried!

Dreama,
See if your doctor will write something up with suggestions or agree to call into a meeting or attend a meeting. Be prepared to pay him for his time but it may well be worth it. I have had to do this before but it has achieved great results.

My son has adhd bipolar. He is in special ed and has an iep. they send him home every day now. they told me if I don’t commit him they’ll call dfcs. his doctor says he doesn’t need to be in the hospital. what can i do?

My son is LD and has behavior problems. He was expelled for sexual harassement in 7th grade. The schools lawyers made it impossible for me to fight back even though I had proof the girls were initiating most of the behavior. This year I convinced them to let him back and he is already up for expulsion again. He felt they were harassing him and looking for him to do bad things always. They pushed him to the point that he had a melt down and said he wanted to punch someone. I feel they pushed him out as they didnt know how to handle his behavior problems. They should have a better system in place for these kids to get educated

The problem with the process of pysh evaluations with children who have behavior issues is in some cases is over diagnosis of a particular disorder that can’t be relatively proven with actual evidence, only presumed.

Also the means by which data is collected for such evaluations in some cases not only contributes to the possibility of a over diagnosis, that is caused partly by biased and propagated opinions by the very same individuals who provided some of that information to the psychs’. for the evaluations who are not qualified in such matters.

Speaking from experience. I don’t understand why a Psychologist or anyone in a relative field would rely predominately on the observations of others rather than their own observations. Are they not the more qualified individuals on the issue of interpreting child behaviors?

My sons school is givng me the run around. After contstant behavioral problems at school and the teachers frequent questioning on whether his doctor had diagnosed him with “anything”, I went ahead and paid for ADHD testing which was confirmed do I still need to request a behavioral test. A BIP was in place. The teacher decided to take that away without discussing that with us. He has an IEP due to his speech impairment. I have recently learned a little about the 504 plan set up… His IEP has been good since PK now to the end of K he is still having problems pronouncing over half his words and the school is so apt to not help

Shelly M. I find it hard to believe that any 6 year old is a problem. I have an ADHD son that is now 27 & when he was 6 he was a handful. We also had some issues regarding medicine but did find a solution with Concerta. Our neurologist wrote some suggestions for modifications & accommodations that helped my son behave better. Perhaps your physician can do the same for you. We did have our son on a behavior plan after a behavior assessment was completed. This was helpful because it identified “triggers” that would cause bad behavior & other things that can be done to minimize problems. You would need to sign the school’s consent form requesting a behavior assessment so you can go over the results.

I have a 6 year old boy who this year was diagnosed with ADHD. He has been suspended 6 times this year. We have an IEP in place, but the principals are just not on board with everything and have labeled my child as a “problem”. The principal has called an additional IEP meeting for tomorrow and basically they want to put him in an adaptive behavior program. He is currently seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist. We are on our 9th round of medication and nothing is working. Not sure what to do next.

Tami, Have you requested an evaluation to assess his behavior from the school? They would then do a behavior assessment & put together a behavior plan that can & should be added to the IEP. We had this done for our youngest son. He had certain “triggers” that would cause him to react & he was constantly getting detentions & going to the office. Once the behavior assessment was complete & we met with all parties it was discovered that changing certain things on how the teachers would approach him, talk to him etc made such a difference on how my son behaved. It made such a difference on how his school day went from that day on.

What are you to do when you can’t get the school to assist you with the negative behaviors until your child is seen by professionals???… Who do you talk to then, when you’ve already talked to the teachers and principal??? It’s almost like they want to see him suspended/expelled so they don’t have to deal with the behavior.

After reading over everyone’s comments I realize that my son and I are not alone. I have been fighting for him for 5 years, leaving one district and this is our second year in another. 50% of the 3,000 students enrolled in the district receive free or reduced lunches, and 445 of the students receive SPED services. Half of them qualify under OHI/LD. The district completely discriminates against low-income families and SPED students by stating they offer services they do not. I recently compiled a ton of the districts facts and other info into a very informative and fact based report in which I had the whole Administration contact me about and teachers giving me secret winks and high fives. Parents in our district are ignorant to their rights and responsibilities! So sad.

Amber, you need your son on a positive behavior plan. My son is ADHD. He was very difficult to discipline. Traditional discipline methods did not work and in fact made things worse. We took some parenting classes, worked with a child psychologist that our son’s neurologist recommended and learned a new way of working with our son. Instead of being the most difficult child he excelled with the positive behavior plan. He is now 27 and a great person, has many friends and is successful.

I have an 8 year old son that is just completely unruly. He has been stealing money from us, he steals from stores, he gets up at 2 and 3 oclock in the morning and gets into food and markers and destroys whatever he wants in the house. He doesn’t follow any of the rules we set up in our house. We have tried every means of discipline we can possibly think of spanking, grounding, taking everything out of his room and making him earn it back, offer him rewards or allowance for good behavior, nothing works. This has been going on since he was 3 and it has just continually gotten worse. The doctor has diagnosed him with ADHD but hes been on different meds and nothing seems to work. We are literally at our wits end because we have 3 other children and their behavior is turning to our oldest which our 8 year old son. What can we do????