Child Behavioral Disorders

All children misbehave at times. Some go through periods of time when life changes may cause some behavioral acting out—divorce, the birth of a sibling, a change in schools or a death in the family. However, if the behavioral disruption continues or is severe, help may be needed.

Behavior disorders are a group of behaviors that include:

  • Physical aggression
  • Damaging or destroying property
  • Self-harm
  • Threatening
  • Lying or stealing
  • Running away or elopement
  • Hostility/defiance toward parents and/or other authority figures

Children with intellectual or developmental delays are more likely to exhibit behavior disorders. At BSI, our first step is to conduct a functional behavior analysis to determine what purpose the behavior is serving for the child, specifically this looks at what the child is gaining from the behavior. Once we understand what is reinforcing the behavior, we can determine appropriate interventions. Behavioral outbursts are reinforced and maintained by one or more of the following: attention, escape or avoidance of a situation or task, an attempt to obtain a tangible item or by the physical sensation that results from the behavior.

Our behavior intervention plans focus on positive behavior supports that include strategies to reduce the likelihood that the problem behavior will occur. We develop plans to help the child get what they want by teaching positive replacement behaviors, and we give parents the tools and support they need to implement the plan at home.