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Emotional disturbance disorder
As a parent, the one thing that you never want to hear from the teacher or pediatrician is that your child should be tested for an emotional disturbance disorder. In your heart of hearts you know and recognized the signs. You also know that you didn’t do anything wrong to cause this, but, we have a tendency to blame ourselves no matter what logical and scientific information is presented. It has taken many years of study and research to find out what these disorders are, what causes them and the best methods to treat them.
The first thing you need to know is how to identify the symptoms. Beyond just the regular childhood antics and behavior, emotional disturbance disorder takes you and your child to levels that you never expected of parenthood. You will note that I dislike using the word normal. After years of study, I have realized that there is a varying chart of normal, but there really is no such thing. The child can exhibit one or many of the symptoms. Referred to as immaturity, there can be tantrums, outbursts of crying and yelling with no apparent serious cause or the lack of the ability to cope in general circumstances. Aggression can take the forms of acting out, fighting and the inability to get along with peers. A high level of energy or hyperactivity can involve impulsive behavior, lack of focus and the situation of being overwhelmed when given too much stimulus. Failing to interact in social situations can also be exhibited with a sense of fear or anxiety. Learning disabilities are a result of the above, with the child calling below expected learning levels. The most extreme cases of emotional disturbance disorder can result in children exhibiting mood swings, strange motor actions, distorted thinking processes and can include the diagnosis of severe psychosis or schizophrenia.
The cause of emotional disturbance disorder remains a mystery. There are concepts that many factors may be involved and include: heredity, allergies, environment, diet, stress and family environment. In our case, it seemed to be hereditary, as various members of my husband’s family exhibited these traits in varying degrees and types. One of the most controversial theories includes the concept that the unnecessary and some untested chemical additives in childhood vaccinations causes an allergic reaction in the infant or child brain that causes a neurological miswiring. While both government and pharmaceutical companies deny and insist that this is incorrect, I can only indicate that my son was a happy and well adjusted baby, until he received his first set of vaccinations. It also remains to be explained why there has been a larger percentage of children with emotional disturbance disorder only in the United States and countries that have included these chemical additives and only in the timing of the additives.
A child that has exhibited a potential for emotional disturbance should have complete testing. Do not rely solely on the opinion of a pediatrician. Diagnosis can be complicated and should involve a complete neurological study of the child. Both physical and mental abilities should be tested to see where the child falls on the charts. The results should include major and minor motor skills testing, learning level as well as an IQ test. In our case, our son fell in the upper level of IQ, demonstrated an excellent level of self-esteem but could not focus on learning or reading. Extreme outbursts of anger and frustration combined with his lack of ability to do even the simplest of tasks involving patience, led him to the level of not associating well with his peers.
Treatment for those children with emotional disturbance disorder is a bit tricky. We started with a nutritionist, to eliminate any food allergies. We followed with integrative approaches. Neither of these are accepted by the medical community nor covered by health insurance. We attended support groups and talked to other parents. After a two year study, we finally had to place our son on a standard medication regiment.
School systems have established IEP guidelines and special educational classes for children with emotional disturbance disorder. Depending upon your county and state, these classes and IEP’s can run from an excellent level of attention, structure and goals to unacceptable situations that look like they are following the IEP guidelines, but they are instead playing movies during the school day and pushing the child through the grades. The IEP guidelines are required by Federal Law. If you find that your school or county is not performing to educate your child and not following through on the goals set, contact your state legislature as well as an attorney that specializes in these types of cases. There may be alternate situations that will allow your child to attend private specialized schools with partial payment made from the funds normally spent on public education.
For parents, a support group is imperative. You need to know that you are not alone and to talk to other parents and guardians regarding ideas and therapies that have worked for them.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Stress Prevention16 Apr 2010|