Bring Order to Behavior Disorders Insider Secrets for Controlling Uncontrollable Students

 

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Bring Order to
Behavior Disorders:
Insider Secrets for
Controlling Uncontrollable Students

 

Some students' behavior goes beyond just being extremely misbehaved. Some students actually have mental health problems that are called behavior disorders.

Counselor training includes extensive preparation to manage each type of behavior disorder. That is why counselors can sometimes more successfully manage youngsters that educators struggle to control. Most counselors learn specialized behavior management tools tailored for each type of acting-out disorder. Most of these targeted tools work really well for educators too– except that educators are not normally routinely offered this essential training on behavior disorders.

While we are all aware of the hazards of labeling students, we have to have some shorthand to know exactly who we're talking about. If we didn't call a rose a rose, some of us might think Shakespeare was talking about dandelions. If we describe the flower each time, we can end up pretty confused, and long-winded too: "that red, no, I mean pink, no, it's white, no, it's a yellow flower that smells really sweet and may bloom all summer." So, as you read this article, of course you want to be sensitive about students being labeled, but hopefully you can agree that the use of common mental health terms will assure that we all know exactly which students– and which behavior disorders– we're talking about.

workshop trainer Ruth Herman WellsI'm Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., the Director and Trainer for Youth Change Workshops. At Youth Change, we firmly believe that educators and other non-mental health workers are smart enough to make those distinctions. This article will help you understand the categories and corresponding tools to use– or not use– with each type of student. In this issue, we will focus particularly on a single type of behavior disorder.

Unless you're a mental health professional, you can't diagnose the
disorders featured in this article. But you've never been able to diagnose other disorders– like ADHD, for example– but you most certainly have learned how to fine tune how you work with youngsters you believe could have that difficulty. Using that type of adjustment process of carefully tailoring your interventions without diagnosing will work for any mental health disorder that you think you might be encountering. While a diagnosis from a mental health worker would be incredibly useful, you can still work successfully with severely unmanageable youngsters either way.

There are two major mental health disorders that characterize the most extremely misbehaved students. Some youngsters have Oppositional-Defiant Disorder. That is a mental health diagnosis that describes kids that have consciences but sometimes act like they don't. This diagnosis can only be applied by a mental health professional but will be very important for any youth worker to know about and understand. This diagnosis is far more hopeful than the second disorder, "Conduct Disorder," which means the child lacks a conscience and a real capacity for relationships. While the oppositional-defiant child (ODD) may also appear to have little
conscience or relationship capacity, you may be able to improve that
difficulty with the right approach and methods. With conduct disorder (CD), such improvement isn't possible.
 

Understanding Oppositional Defiant Disorder & Conduct Disorder


WHAT DOES OPPOSITIONAL-DEFIANT DISORDER LOOK LIKE?

Oppositional-defiant kids are often some of your most misbehaved students. They may disrupt your class, hurt others, defy authority and engage in illegal or problematic conduct. Though students with ODD may look similar to conduct disorders, their bad behavior is usually less severe, less frequent, and of shorter duration. The ODD label is often inaccurately applied as this dynamic can be a difficult concept to grasp and apply correctly. Because many mental health professionals understandably hesitate to assign the heavy-duty conduct disorder label, they sometimes use the diagnosis of ODD as kind of a parking spot. This convention results in people using methods for ODD with conduct disordered youngsters who would have potentially benefitted from methods for CDs instead. CDs will be adversely affected and poorly managed by the use of strategies designed for students with ODD. In this issue, we are focusing on strategies for children and teens who appear to have ODD.


THE 3 AREAS OF HELP FOR ODD YOUTH

To help the child with ODD, you must focus on:

  1. Skill building
  2. "Pulling up" that conscience– example strategies are below
  3. Improving their relationship skills.


For skill building, teaching them how to regulate their anger, actions, peer skills, verbal output, etc. will be critical. (Note that CDs benefit from this training as well.) But equally important, the child with ODD must be aided to care about others, and to be guided more by conscience. (Note that CDs almost never benefit from this type of aid, and usually become more out-of-control as they assume the adult has "no clue" if they are using methods that involve utterly foreign and irrelevant concepts like conscience, remorse, guilt, and trust.)

In our workshops, we give dozens of effective interventions for stimulating the conscience of children and teens who evidence ODD. We will supply a
few of the best here. These interventions will only focus on stimulating that conscience or "compensating" for it. If you want more than the handful of ideas given here, or you want to see how to build skills and relationship capacity– those other two key intervention areas for students who evidence ODD– consider signing up for our live or online distance learning workshop, or purchasing some of our books that will deliver hundreds of the solutions you need.


STRATEGIES TO STIMULATE OR SIMULATE THE CONSCIENCE

for Students Who Appear to Have ODD

You can use these methods with or without the diagnosis. Remember that these interventions must be combined with the other key focus areas for students with ODD: skill training and relationship training. Also, remember these methods are not appropriate for use with that other type of very misbehaved youngster, children with conduct disorder.

 

STRATEGY #1

Before a child undertakes a problem behavior, ask the youth to imagine that s/he will read about that act on the cover of the local newspaper
in the morning. Ask the child their reaction. If they say that they wouldn't want to read about it in the newspaper the next morning, then you can say "Then don't do it!" This image makes a fast and easy guide for kids to follow to evaluate whether or not to do questionable behaviors. This intervention is a good choice to use with children whose conscience provides little guidance.

 

STRATEGY #2

This intervention can be used before or after the child has engaged in
misbehavior. For example, let's say the child has stolen the teacher's pen, you can say "I want you to imagine that we're making a video about your life. Are you impressed?" That uncomfortable sensation that the child may have in reaction to this intervention may be the conscience stirring.

 

STRATEGY #3

After the child has engaged in a problem behavior, such as stealing a pen, as in the example above, ask the child, "So what's your integrity worth to you?"

 

STRATEGY #4

To adapt the intervention shown above for young children, simply rephrase the question to "So what's people believing in you, worth to you?" Or, rephrase it to "So what's people trusting you, worth to you?"

 

STRATEGY #5

Have students list problem behaviors, and write their responses in a column on a board. Next, in a second column, have them list the most likely consequences of each behavior. Inform students that they can no longer say "I didn't know what was going to happen next," or make similar disclaimers because they have just shown they can make good guesses to predict the future. This strategy is another substitute for the conscience  as students can "guess ahead" before choosing to engage in problem behaviors.

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    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
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An Expert Explains How to Manage Students with Oppositional-Defiant Disorder

 

oppositional-defiant disorder help

 

An Expert Explains
How to Manage Students with
Oppositional-Defiant Disorder

 
 

 

O.D.D. workshopOppositional Defiant Disorder is a mental health diagnostic term that can be applied by a mental health professional to describe some severely misbehaved youth and children. Although this youngster may be a real handful to manage, this diagnosis is an infinitely more hopeful and workable one than Conduct Disorder, which can appear similar.

I'm Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. and my work in the trenches, and years of training teachers, counselors and juvenile justice staff have helped me to learn a lot about Oppositional Defiant Disorder, also referred to as ODD.

help with O.D.D.In our workshop, even many mental health professionals confuse the differences between oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD). Although there are similarities between these two types of seriously misbehaved youth, some of the ways you work with these kids differ dramatically. In fact, many methods that are essential to work with ODDs are not just ineffective, but dangerous with CDs. The most common example of this is character ed, which tends to make the CD's behavior much worse.

We covered CDs and ODDs in articles in the 2nd and 3rd issues of this Behavior and Classroom Management Blog, but here's a very quick recap. So if you're not a subscriber to our blog of educational articles on behavior and classroom management strategies, here's some of what you've been missing. (Sign up for the blog here.)

 

 

Recap


Oppositional Defiant Disorder
vs
Conduct Disorder

ODDs probably have a conscience and remorse, but neither of these seem to be much in evidence. CDs are considered much more severely disturbed, and much more likely to engage in extremely dangerous and/or problematic behavior. By definition, CDs lack meaningful relationship capacity.

Here's a pop quiz to test your knowledge. Don't worry, the answers are below.

These questions capture some of the most common misconceptions and questions we constantly hear in our workshops about these two types of hard-to-manage youth. However, the brief answers provided here are absolutely no substitute for mastering how to effectively and safely work with severely acting-out youth and children, so be sure to come to one of our workshops around the country. (We even still have $84 half-price scholarship work study slots open in most of the cities if you're on a budget.)

teacher online coursesOr, you may want to purchase one of our instant download ebooks like All the Best Answers for the Worst Kid Problems: Conduct Disorders if you want more information immediately. If this information is new, you can actually find that your class and group management problems can rapidly improve as a result. You can be reading our ebooks in less than 60 seconds, and they cost just $15. If you do not do well on the quiz, the reality is that you are much more vulnerable to continuing safety and effectiveness concerns.

Here's the Quiz on
Oppositional Defiant Disorder vs
Conduct Disorder

1. Animal abuse is particularly characteristic of… ODDs or CDs?

2. Evoking remorse is a strategy that should only be used with…ODDs or CDs?

3. There has been a big increase in the number of kids diagnosed as…ODD or CD?

4. ODD leads to CD…or does CD lead to ODD?

Article Continues Below

 

teacher workshop on oppositional defiant students

 

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Article Continues Here

Answers:
Quiz on
Oppositional Defiant Disorder vs
Conduct Disorder

 teacher online courses

1. Animal abuse isn't a litmus test for CD, but some mental health experts believe it almost could be. Animal abuse is tightly correlated with CD.

2. Most mental health experts, though not all, believe that the heart of being a CD is having no heart or conscience. Therefore, evoking remorse in a CD won't work, and could make things much worse. Getting that conscience "in gear" is often central to working with ODDs.

3. There has been a big increase in all manner of severe emotional problems over the last few years, especially in younger children. No study has yet revealed the explanation for this general increase but CDs and ODDs are part of this trend. CDs are especially increasing in number, so it is more important than ever to understand this problem and to learn basic mental health terms and concepts even if you are a teacher, after-school program worker, principal, court worker or other professional or para-professional who didn't really sign up to work with the most seriously disturbed youth and children.

4. ODD does not morph into CD, nor does CD change into ODD. Sometimes a child will be diagnosed as ODD but the therapist may really suspect CD. Because CD is such a serious diagnosis, clinicians are often very deliberate and slow to formally apply that label. This is an appropriate amount of care, but to the non-clinician, it can appear that the child must have changed from ODD to CD, when what really happened is that the clinician was finally able to make a definite determination of CD.

Key Strategies for

Oppositional-Defiant Students

Here's some key strategies to use with ODDs. Remember: Most of these won't work with CDs, and can make the problems worse!

  • Skill Training: Teach the youth to properly manage his or her fist, mouth and actions. This is critical– especially if the child doesn't get this training at home: kids can not use skills they haven't been taught.
  • Relationship-Based Approaches: Developing a bond with this child can yield results.
  • Activate the Conscience: It is critical to evoke remorse and regret for problem behaviors.
  • Consequences Count: They are just one part of the solution but shouldn't be overlooked. Offer consequences as soon as possible. Be careful about second chances or lightening the consequence.
  • Problem Peers: ODDs get into plenty of trouble on their own and need no help from CDs to engage in misbehavior. Keep ODDs tracked to positive peers. Limit their contact with CDs.
  • Observe for CD: If you are not a mental health professional, consult one if you feel that your ODD child is so seriously and extremely misbehaved that he or she should be examined for a possible CD diagnosis.

LEARN MORE: You've just read only a small portion of the information that youth professionals need to safely and successfully work with oppositional-defiant youth. Come to our workshop or visit more of our huge web site to get more of the key information and strategies you must have to work with one the most difficult-of-all youth. It is truly a matter of ensuring safety and enhancing your effectiveness with your most uncontrollable youngsters.

ODD workshop Our Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop courses (live and online seminars), plus our books and ebooks can stop the confusion, misinformation and uncertainty about how to consistently and successfully manage severely acting- out youngsters.
 

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    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

    Subscribe Unsubscribe/Change Subscription
    Contact Us*  *Not for Unsubscribing
     

    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.