Conduct Disorder:

The essential feature of Conduct Disorder is a repetitive and persistent pattern      of behavior by a child or teenager in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated. These behaviors fall into four main groupings: aggressive conduct that causes or threatens physical harm to other people or animals, nonaggressive conduct that causes property loss or damage, deceitfulness or theft, and serious violations of rules time and time again.

Diagnosis of Conduct Disorder:

Conduct Disorder is characterized by a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated, as manifested by the presence of three (or more) of the following criteria in the past 12 months, with at least one criterion present in the past 6 months:

Aggression with people and animals:

  • often initiates physical fights
  • often  bullies, threatens, or intimidates others.
  • has used a weapon that can cause serious physical harm to others (e.g., a bat, brick, broken bottle, knife, gun).
  • has been physically cruel to people.
  • has been physically cruel to animals.
  • has stolen while confronting a victim (e.g., mugging, purse snatching, extortion, armed robbery).
  • has forced someone into sexual activity

Destruction of property:

  • has deliberately engaged in fire setting with the intention of causing serious damage.
  • has deliberately destroyed others’ property (other than by fire setting)

Deceitfulness or theft:

  • has broken into someone else’s house, building, or car
  • often lies to obtain goods or favors or to avoid obligations (i.e., “cons” others)
  • has stolen items of nontrivial value without confronting a victim (e.g., shoplifting, but without breaking and entering; forgery)

Serious violations of rules:

  • often stays out at night despite parental prohibitions, beginning before age 13 years.
  • has run away from home overnight at least twice while living in parental or parental surrogate home (or once without returning for a lengthy period)
  • is often truant from school, beginning before age 13 years.

The disturbance in behavior causes clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning.

Two subtypes of Conduct Disorder are provided based on the age at onset of the disorder (i.e., Childhood-Onset Type and Adolescent-Onset Type). The subtypes differ in regard to the characteristic nature of the presenting conduct problems, developmental course and prognosis, and gender ratio. Both subtypes can occur in a mild, moderate, or severe form. In assessing the age at onset, information should preferably be obtained from the youth and from caregiver(s). Because many of the behaviors may be concealed, caregivers may underreport symptoms and overestimate the age at onset.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder:

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a childhood disorder that is characterized by negative, defiant, disobedient and often hostile behavior toward adults and authority figures primarily. In order to be diagnosed, the behaviors must occur for at least a period of 6 months.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is characterized by the frequent occurrence of at least four of the following behaviors: losing temper, arguing with adults, actively defying or refusing to comply with the requests or rules of adults, deliberately doing things that will annoy other people, blaming others for his or her own mistakes or misbehavior, being touchy or easily annoyed by others, being angry and resentful, or being spiteful or vindictive.

Specific Symptoms of ODD:

A pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior lasting at least 6 months, during which four (or more) of the following are present:

  • often loses temper
  • often argues with adults
  • often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ requests or rules
  • often deliberately annoys people
  • often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
  • is often touchy or easily annoyed by others
  • is often angry and resentful
  • is often spiteful or vindictive

Learning Disorders:

Learning disabilities, or learning disorders, are an umbrella term for a wide variety of learning problems. A learning disability is not a problem with intelligence or motivation. Kids with learning disabilities aren’t lazy or dumb. In fact, most are just as smart as everyone else. Their brains are simply wired differently. This difference affects how they receive and process information.

Simply put, children and adults with learning disabilities see, hear, and understand things differently. This can lead to trouble with learning new information and skills, and putting them to use. The most common types of learning disabilities involve problems with reading, writing, math, reasoning, listening, and speaking.

Learning disabilities look very different from one child to another. One child may struggle with reading and spelling, while another loves books but can’t understand math. Still another child may have difficulty understanding what others are saying or communicating out loud. The problems are very different, but they are all learning disorders.

Preschool signs and symptoms of learning disorders:

  • Problems pronouncing words
  • Trouble finding the right word
  • Difficulty rhyming
  • Trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes, days of the week
  • Difficulty following directions or learning routines.
  • Difficulty controlling crayons, pencils, and scissors or colouring within the lines
  • Trouble with buttons, zippers, snaps, learning to tie shoes.

Ages 5-9 signs and symptoms of Learning Disabilities:

  • Trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds
  • Unable to blend sounds to make words
  • Confuses basic words when reading
  • Consistently misspells words and makes frequent reading errors
  • Trouble learning basic math concepts
  • Difficulty telling time and remembering sequences
  • Slow to learn new skills.

Age 10-13 signs and symptoms of Learning Disabilities:

  • Difficulty with reading comprehension or math skills
  • Trouble with open-ended test questions and word problems
  • Dislikes reading and writing; avoids reading aloud
  • Spells the same word differently in a single document
  • Poor organizational skills (bedroom, homework, desk is messy and disorganized)
  • Trouble following classroom discussions and expressing thoughts aloud
  • Poor handwriting

Learning disabilities in reading (dyslexia):

There are two types of learning disabilities in reading. Basic reading problems occur when there is difficulty understanding the relationship between sounds, letters and words. Reading comprehension problems occur when there is an inability to grasp the meaning of words, phrases, and paragraphs.

Signs of reading difficulty include problems with:

  • letter and word recognition
  • understanding words and ideas
  • reading speed and fluency
  • general vocabulary skills

Learning Disabilities in math (dyscalculia):

Learning disabilities in math vary greatly depending on the child’s other strengths and weaknesses. A child’s ability to do math will be affected differently by a language learning disability, or a visual disorder or a difficulty with sequencing, memory or organization.

A child with a math–based learning disorder may struggle with memorization and organization of numbers, operation signs, and number “facts” (like 5+5=10 or 5×5=25). Children with math learning disorders might also have trouble with counting principles (such as counting by 2s or counting by 5s) or have difficulty telling time.

Learning Disabilities in writing (dysgraphia):

Learning disabilities in writing can involve the physical act of writing or the mental activity of comprehending and synthesizing information. Basic writing disorder refers to physical difficulty forming words and letters. Expressive writing disability indicates a struggle to organize thoughts on paper.

Symptoms of a written language learning disability revolve around the act of writing. They include problems with:

  • neatness and consistency of writing
  • accurately copying letters and words
  • spelling consistency
  • writing organization and coherence