Behavioural Problems and Emotional Disturbances in School Students Introduction This essay is concerned with behavioural problems and emotional problems in school students and considers the systems and programmes which need to be developed by school staff in order to offer appropriate support to these student and the staff involved and so enable education of all students to continue at optimum levels…
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Having even one student with psychological and /or behavioural difficulties means that there will be a breakdown in communications with all the ensuing problems that involves. According to Pravda ( 2000) the National Institute of Mental Health declared that they estimate that there are 12 million American school children with mental illness, and that there are approximately 4 % of American school children have either attention deficit disorder ( ADD) or ADHD - Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder. Similar statistics will apply in other western countries. This means that on average there is one or more such child in every class. Kids Matter ( 2010) states that approximately half of all serious mental health condition shave their beginnings before adolescence. A child with a mental health problem can be defined as being someone with behaviour that is disturbing to themselves or to others and which affects their ability to function socially. In document 3 The American National Survey of Children and adolescents ( page 3 1997-2010) breaks down difficulties experienced into four groups. Some of these may seem to be purely physical difficulties , but these can present or add to mental health issues if they cause stress to the children concerned. :- (1) Neurological, as when a child is perhaps especially clumsy, ( dyspraxia) or has a mild degree of spasticity which affects his ability do such things as write clearly or who is frequently dropping things. These children find difficulties using both large and small muscles and could exclude themselves from play as it is just too difficult to catch balls etc. Teachers who are aware of their particular difficulties will be sympathetic to their needs and won’t for instance attempt to force them to undertake athletic tasks which are beyond their physical difficulties and will encourage them in what they can do. Simple things can help such as using special pens , or just winding tape round a normal one to give them something larger to grip can help. Occupational therapists may be able to give positive advice and support. (2) Cognitive, as when a child is operating at an intellectual level below what might be expected for his chronological age. It is necessary to discover whether there is a particular problem which can be helped. Can the child hear and see clearly perhaps? Regular medical checks for all school children should pick up on such conditions. (3) Language, perhaps a refusal to engage with others. This could be due to depression, anxiety or autism among other possible reasons, including physical ones such as tongue tie or deafness. It can prove very difficult to teach children if they cannot engage and communicate. Teachers need to come up with strategies that encourage to participate, rather than just asking questions of whole classes to which only a proportion of children will respond. (4) Behaviour, e.g an inability to concentrate, or temper tantrums, swearing as in Tourette’s Syndrome, or a constant seeking of attention. However individual children may have any combination of these problems, which the survey reveals are much more likely to be obvious in those in contact with social agencies. A child with autism to whatever degree for instance may have difficulties in understanding because of their difficulties in interpreting
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