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Emotional and Behavioural Disorders of Learners in Classrooms

Emotional and Behavioural Disorders of Learners in Classrooms

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Children in school come from different homes and have diverse backgrounds; there are serious emotional and behavioural disorders that teachers face daily as learners come to school.

How to know if a learner has any emotional and behavioural disorders and to help him or her does not come easy.

Emotional and Behavioural Disorders

The term emotional and behavioural disorder encompasses several health issues which include  Anxiety Disorder, Manic-Depressive Disorder, and Oppositional-Defiant Disorder just a few to mention.

Emotional instability among children leads to what is usually termed as “emotional disturbance”. Learners who suffer such health complications are said to be emotionally challenged.

What are the five characteristics of children with emotional and behavioral disorders?

As a teacher, being able to spot these characteristics helps to start looking for support for the learner. Look out for the following in your class.

a. When a learner has difficulties studying and this has become difficult to explain

b. The learner has challenges building and maintaining the basic satisfactory relationship with school or classmates and even with the teacher.

c. The learner exhibits strange behaviours under normal circumstances

d. The learner is often in a pervasive mood, unhappy oftentimes, and shows signs of depression.

e. Such students may develop unexplained fears when faced with personal and school-related challenges.


Two groups exist under the broad term Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, and they are Psychiatric and Behavioral Disorders.


Psychiatric Disorders

There are a number of situations in this group. Mental, behavioral, or perceptual behaviors or abnormalities that are disruptive to everyday functioning and trigger stress are classified as mental disorders. A few of these diagnoses are most general examples:

  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder (aka Manic-Depressive Disorder)
  • Eating Disorder (such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorder)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
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Psychotic Disorder

For an instructor, psychological conditions raise a major problem for a range of reasons. For starters, schools are not clinics, and teachers should not be asked to “treat” these illnesses. Learners who face these kinds of difficulties are often treated and can be given drugs.

Medication may have unanticipated side effects, and since medical history is private, educators may be unsure of whether their learners are behaving the way they do. This makes reacting correctly to such actions challenging. Furthermore, learners with any of these disorders may actually become unable to fulfill academic and behavioral standards. In those circumstances, learners need a kind of special education and training and will have to be transferred into a school setting.


Behavioral Disabilities

Children with developmental disorders partake in behaviours that disrupt school activity and/or are detrimental to themselves and those around them such as their peers.  The habits shouldn’t be due to either of the above psychological conditions in order to be diagnosed as a behavioral condition.

Behavioral dysfunction consists of two subgroups: oppositional defiant disorder and behavioural problems.

The oppositional defiant disorder is associated with extreme non-compliance, adversity, and a lack of co-operation or instruction. Affected children are not abusive or offensive, but merely oppose their collaboration with others or colleagues.


Disorder activity is much more severe. This condition is marked by abuse, hostility, and damage to oneself and others. If their behaviour has changed enough to encourage contact to the general school community, students who are disabled must usually be educated in special education centers and facilities.

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Emotional and behavioral disorders teaching strategies

As with other illnesses, learners with emotional and behavioral disorders need a healthy, organized atmosphere that promotes development.


Disorders of Learners in Classrooms: Rules and Routines

At the beginning of the school year rules have to be laid out and written in a manner that is straightforward and comprehensible. The rules should be worded in a constructive way: “Respect yourself and others” is the best rule of thumb that “Nobody is harmed.” Easy: 6 or less rules, keep things simple.

Impacts of violating regulations should therefore be defined and regularly and vigorously enforced at the beginning of the academic year if the codes are violated. There must be clear and predictable results. Provide suggestions to the student calmly and clearly as it is administered.

The student then understands why the result is important. When rules are violated, try to stop being emotional. Emotional reactivity brings negative exposure to the pupil that is really enjoyable to many children. Stay cool and uncontaminated, be strict and kind. The balance is difficult to maintain, but it is essential if meaningful outcomes are to be achieved.

Emotional and Behavioural Disorders: Techniques for Supporting Positive Behavior

Learners with mental and behavioural disabilities also continue to be educated in a special training environment because their behaviour is too unfit for a regular classroom. Here are some suggestions to drive development into better, more resilient behaviour. Token Economics – For any case of good behaviour, students receive marks or tokens. These tokens will then be used to buy the token shop prizes. To be successful, good behaviour must be constantly rewarded and things in a token shop really inspire the pupil. It takes time but is very successful in planning and organization.


Classroom Behavior Chart

A diagram showing each pupil in the classroom’s degree of behaviour. Students with positive behavior advance on the chart; students with poor behavior decline. This accounts for each student and lets you track the success and reward them. If the rough students sit at the bottom of the chart, this won’t work. Concentrate on the good to inspire as far as necessary.

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READ: Dangers of Drug Abuse Every Youth and Student Must Know

Lottery System

Related to the reward system, a card with a name is offered to students who act positively. The cards are stored in a bowl and you pull one out once or twice a week. The lottery winner is awarded an award.

Positive peer review – students should watch and recognize constructive behaviour. Positive peer review. The student who acts positively and the student who identifies are both recompensed. That’s the exact contrary to “tattle-telling” which encourages a sense of cooperation and social support in the classroom.

It can be particularly difficult to teach children with mental and behavioural problems. Recall: it is much more important to promote and enhance good actions than to try to suppress negative behaviour.

Emotional and Behavioural Disorders are real and the penalty and detrimental impacts seem to lead to power battles, which further aggravate the situation.

In the face of these kinds of emotionally challenging habits, it is not simple, but do not give up.

You will affect these students who are struggling in an extremely hard situation in a world without difference.

Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay

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