Thursday, January 28, 2010


TOPIC ONE Conduct Disorder


Conduct disorder refers to a group of behavioral and emotional problems in youngsters. Children and adolescents with this disorder have a hard time following rules and behaving in a socially expectable ways. Others often view them as delinquent rather than mentally ill. There are many factors that may contribute to a child being diagnosed or developing a conduct disorder they include brain damage, child abuse, genetic vulnerability, school failure and traumatic life experiences. According to the DSM IV definition of conduct disorder, the conduct disorder must consist of a repetitive and persistent pattern of behaviors which the basic rights of others or major age would have been three or more of the following behaviors in the past 12 months, with at least one in the past 6 months.


Characteristics of CD and ODD a comparison between the two

ODD Characteristics
• loses temper
• argues with adults
• defies or refuses to comply with adult request/rules
• deliberately annoys people
• blames others for mistakes or misbehavior
• touchy or easily annoyed by others
• angry and resentful
• spiteful or vindictive

CD Characteristics

• aggression to people and/or animals
 *bullies or threatens or intimidates others
• initiates physical fights
• uses weapons that cause physical harm to others
• physically cruel to people and/or animals
• assault during confrontation
• sexual abuse
• destruction of property
• deliberate fire setting
• deliberately destroyed others property
• deceitfulness
• theft
• burglary
• breaks parents rules i.e.; stays out all night before age 13
• run away from home
• truant from school

4 Main Groupings of Conduct Disorder

1. Aggressive Conduct

2. Non-aggressive conduct

3. Deceitfulness or theft

4. Serious violations of rules

Resources from:

Although the terminology is similar the child/adult with a diagnosed ODD concern is not as dangerous to be involved with. The child with ODD may be defiant but they are not the child setting fires or one you would be concerned about yours or other’s safety while they were in the room. The terminology of Oppositional Defiant Disorder sounds much more intense than that of Conduct Disorder which would lead most individuals to believe that a conduct disorder may be less threatening where as the opposite is true. Most students with or exhibiting ODD may eventually build up to a conduct disorder if their needs are not met and if the family is not involved in shaping a new behavior.

Steps for Preparing a Plan
(District 500 FBA)

1. Pinpoint the behavior that you want to change. Be specific

2. Gather as much information and baseline data as you can. Use others on the team or who interact with the child to offer input and take data on the student. Ask the important questions: When does the behavior occur? How often? What circumstances cause the behavior? Are there any evident precedent behaviors? What time of day?

3. Interpret the data. Get together with others working with the child and discuss what was found – Give it your best shot and analyze the information you have gathered

4. Plan for a change – BE POSITIVE! Set goals state who is involved – if the child is old enough makes him/her a part of the goal setting process plan for a big change! Make sure and add portions of expected behaviors and what will be results of inappropriate behaviors – what are the inappropriate behaviors? Answer every thread of information for the child. Follow through and be consistent.

What Can Educators Do?

Teachers help students with their problems by setting clear guidelines in the classroom. Have classroom rules clearly displayed and refer to the rules as problems occur. Do not argue with the child but set the expectation and allow students time to process. Give the child choices whenever possible and be prepared to accept negative choices within the guidelines of the rules set down in print. Provide adequate positive reinforces within the day to prevent opposition. When clear guidelines are in place students will present less resistance to disciplinary actions. This will give teachers a place to begin. Don’t forget to enlist the assistance of veteran teachers, counselors, parents and other support professionals in your classroom!

Remember the following rules:

1. Give Clear expectations

2. Clear Directions

3. Clear rules in written form


5. Use tons of positive Praise!

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