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Behavioural Exceptionalities Presentation

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Duve Dagher

on 13 March 2014

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Transcript of Behavioural Exceptionalities Presentation

The physical act of showing an intense dislike or hatred of homosexuality or homosexual individuals
Behavioural Disorders: Identifying and Understanding your Students
Duve, Jessica, Kaitlin, and Patrick
Eating Disorders
Emotional Disorders
Anxiety Disorders and
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Depression takes over the whole person – affecting emotion, behaviours and thoughts.

Emotional: sadness (felt as a deep unrelenting pain), anhedonia (loss of interest), irritability, feelings of guilt, anxiety, loneliness or rejection.

Physiological and Behavioural: headaches, stomach aches, appetite disturbances (loss or gain), sleep (hypersomnia or insomnia), psychomotor retardation (slowed walk and gestures)

Cognitive: poor concentration, indecisiveness, suicidal thoughts, poor self-esteem or feelings of worthlessness.
Unipolar Depression: Symptoms (DSM-IV-TR)
The student might withdraw from others, cry easily or show less interest in sports, games or other fun activities that he/she normally likes.

He/she might over-react and have sudden outbursts of anger or tears over fairly small incidents.

May distance themselves from parents, and form new groups of friends.
Affects on Interpersonal Relationships
Depression in teens can look very different from depression in adults. The following symptoms of depression are more common in teenagers than in their adult counterparts:

Irritable or angry mood – As noted above, irritability, rather than sadness, is often the predominant mood in depressed teens. A depressed teenager may be grumpy, hostile, easily frustrated, or prone to angry outbursts.

Unexplained aches and pains – Depressed teens frequently complain about physical ailments such as headaches or stomachaches. If a thorough physical exam does not reveal a medical cause, these aches and pains may indicate depression.

Extreme sensitivity to criticism – Depressed teens are plagued by feelings of worthlessness, making them extremely vulnerable to criticism, rejection, and failure. This is a particular problem for “over-achievers.”

Withdrawing from some, but not all people – While adults tend to isolate themselves when depressed, teenagers usually keep up at least some friendships. However, teens with depression may socialize less than before, pull away from their parents, or start hanging out with a different crowd.

The difference between teenage and adult depression
Bipolar Mood Disorder: Symptoms
"How to Help a Depressed Child

Talk to your child. If you have noticed any of the signs discussed here, do your best to encourage your child to talk to you about how he/she is feeling and what is bothering him/her.

If you think your child is seriously depressed, do not panic. Professional help is available to both your child and yourself.

Depression is very treatable. Children, teens and adults can all be helped to overcome depression.

Start by checking with your family doctor to find out if there could be a physical cause for your child’s feelings of fatigue, aches and pains, and low moods.

Talk to your child’s school to find out if any teachers have also noticed changes in behaviour and mood. Talking to your child’s teacher about his/her difficulties may change the way the teacher interacts with your child and can increase your child’s sense of self-esteem in the classroom.
Medications and Possible Side Effects
(cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr
(cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr
Social Construction
Gender Roles
Societal "Norms"
Homophobic language has normalized itself within our language
These words imply that homosexuality is inferior to heterosexuality
The usage of words and phrases such as "faggot," "dyke," "no homo," and "that's gay" are vicious weapons for bullies
How can this be recognized?
Seth Walsh (1997-2010)
Asher Brown (1997-2010)
Tyler Clementi (1992-2010)
Jamie Hubley (1996-2011)
Words Hurt
What is being done?
Bill 13, The Accepting Schools Act
“For greater certainty, neither the board nor the principal shall refuse to allow a pupil to use the name gay-straight alliance or a similar name for an organization described in clause (1).”
How Teachers can Prevent Homophobic Bullying
Discuss homophobia and LGTBQ groups directly and immediately
Make students aware that hateful comments will not be tolerated
Student Code of Conduct Policy
Protect the victim and his or her right to confidentiality
Display material for Gay-Straight Alliance groups
Create a GSA group
Demonstrate an acceptance of all sexual orientations
Guest speakers
Responses to Parents when discussing Homophobia in Schools
(cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr
"My child is too young for this topic!"
"This is against our religion."
"It's teaching about sex!"
1) Stop the harassment.
2) Identify the harassment.
3) Broaden the response.
4) Ask for change in future behaviour.
5) Check in with the victim.
How to Handle Homophobic Harassment Effectively and Immediately
The Hinks-Dellcrest Centre's ABC's of Mental Health - a teachers guide
Investigate a broad spectrum of behavioural exceptionalities categorized by age.
provides examples of student behaviours ranging from normal (green-light) -> high risk (red-light). Often rated by frequency, intensity, and duration.

provides insight into student behaviour within the context of developmental and social transitions.

Many school boards have professional counsellors on staff. The school counselor may be able to refer you to individual or group counselling to help children and teens cope with stress.

The school counsellor or your family doctor may refer you to a children’s mental health clinic. If there isn’t a clinic nearby, there may be a psychiatrist or psychologist who specializes in working with children."

(CMHA - Canadian Mental Health Association)
What to expect from Parents
"D.I.F.D. is a youth-driven initiative focused on raising awareness and inspiring conversations about youth mental health. Created by friends and family of Daron Richardson who lost her life to suicide at the young age of 14, D.I.F.D. is inspired by hope for a future where young people will reach out for help without fear or shame. D.I.F.D. supports programs and initiatives aimed at transforming youth mental health."
Teachers can always find ways to help organize or participate in school groups, assemblies, or fundraisers which promote conversation and awareness of youth mental health.
The Youth Mental Health Awareness Study and Early Intervention Research Project research team, led by Dr. Rob Milin of the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, has received some very exciting news – the Ottawa Catholic and Ottawa-Carleton District School Boards have approved the study and it will begin this September! This is a meaningful opportunity for Ottawa high schools to implement the Mental Health & High School Curriculum Guide into their classrooms and bring light to an important topic that has been kept in the dark for far too long. A total of 15 local high schools have already signed up for the study and we are looking forward to hearing from more schools within the coming weeks. The research team has also decided to expand the study to regional schools in the surrounding areas and is currently awaiting approval for a fall implementation.
Advocacy, Suicide, and Youth Mental Health
Behavioural and emotional, like all exceptionalities, affect the whole family
The physical act of displaying an intense dislike or hatred of homosexuality or homosexual individuals.
Definition: An anxiety disorder is "a pattern of constant worry and anxiety over many different activities or events."

Affects 5% of women and 3% of men

Most commonly appears at adolescence

Humanistic Theory
Students develop a set of self standards that they must achieve to feel accepted
Characteristics of students with an anxiety disorder
Above average IQ
Difficulty concentrating
Freeze up or have blanks in pressure situations
Physiological symptoms
muscle tension, restlessness, upset stomach
Psychological fears
bad grades, failing or even things unrelated to school

Can affect the student's academic performance and social interactions
How to accommodate these students?
Disordered Eating
"dysfunctional eating", "restrained eating" or "emotional eating"
troublesome eating habits
behaviours less severe than those required to meet criteria of an eating disorder
Work with parents to identify situations or events that cause anxiety in order to avoid them
Alternative assignments

Positive verbal cues
Especially during high stress situations

Provide a predictable environment
Daily outline on chalk board
Provide a detailed calendar of important dates
No surprises

Offer student supplemental help
During and after class
Eating Disorders
psychiatric illness
mental and physical components
serious medical consequences
about 9/10 cases found amongst girls and young women
Social and Cultural
Mental Disorders
Origin of Eating Disorders
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Forms of Eating Disorders
Depressive symptoms observed in bipolar disorder are similar to those found in unipolar depression.
Obsessions: are persistent thoughts, images, ideas that intrude on his or her consciousness without control
Compulsion: repetitive behaviours or mental acts that an individual feels he or she must perform for temporary relief of these obsessions
Neurobiological disorder: dysfunction with the circuits in the brain to turn off the primitive impulses
Students with OCD are aware of their actions
OCD affects 1 in 100 students
Anorexia Nervosa
Bulimia Nervosa
Over Exercising
Binge Eating
Characteristics of students with OCD
Appear to be daydreaming, distracted, noncompliant, disinterested or even lazy.
Student wants to hear question multiple times
Student checks multiple times to see if homework is handed in or correct
Things must be in a certain order or symmetry
For example: Arrange and rearrange a paper on their desk until it looks "just right.“
Extreme slowness with school work due to time spent ritualizing
Checking in backpack multiple times to make sure things are all there
Student asks to go to the bathroom several times
Mental behaviours such as: counting, praying or repeating words silently
How to accommodate students with OCD?
Discuss your concerns with team member who has expertise in this area
Discuss with parents
Awareness to the classroom and zero tolerance for bullying
identify other students
Assign a "study buddy" to improve social interaction and performance
Organised and clean classroom
Allow more time on tests or assignments
Allow “breaks” to defuse anxiety
"GO” or “BREAK” cards
Secret signal
Seating student closest to the door
self-induced weight loss
failure to make expected weight gain
intense fear of gaining weight
disturbance in one's perception of weight/shape
amenorrhea in females
Restricting type
Binge eating/purging type
Students with bipolar mood disorder will experience dramatic changes in mood, energy and behaviour. These are congruent with alternating bouts of depression and mania. Periods of mania and/or depression will vary in duration and degree of intensity.
Do you recall any situations in the classroom setting that caused you to experience anxiety?
Main sources of anxiety related to school
-Oral presentations
-First day of school
recurrent episodes of binge eating
followed by recurrent inappropriate compensatory behaviours to prevent weight gain
self-evaluation that is influenced by body shape and weight
recurrent episodes of binge eating
the binge eating episode is associated with three (or more) of the following:
eating rapidly
eating until feeling uncomfortably full
eating large amounts of food
eating alone
feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty
distress regarding binge eating
exercises more frequently and more intensely than is required for good health or competitive excellence
gives up time from work, school, and relationships to exercise
exercises despite being injured or ill
defines self-worth in terms of athletic performance
never satisfied with a performance or game
Warning Signs
a distorted body image
change in weight
hair loss
unusual eating habits
frequent episodes of binge eating
preoccupation with the fat and caloric content of foods
self-esteem issues
changes in personality
withdrawal from friends
changes in academic performance
skipping lunch
visiting bathroom after lunch
evidence of dental or gum disease
gastrointestinal problems
Pr -Ana
Ministry of Education of Ontario Document: Special Education – A Guide for Educators
Eating Disorders – Guidance for Teachers, Family Reading Centre
Resources for Teachers/Schools, “It’s not about food... it’s about feelings”
National Eating Disorders Association : www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
Teaching Students with Mental Health Disorders – Resources for Teachers : Volume 1 – Eating Disorders
Ministry of Education of Ontario defines a behavioural exceptionality as...
... a learning disorder characterized by specific behaviour problems over such a period of time, and to such a marked degree, and of such a nature, as to adversely affect educational performance, and that may be accompanied by one or more of the following:
a) an inability to build or to maintain interpersonal relationships;
b) excessive fears or anxieties;
c) a tendency to compulsive reaction;
d) an inability to learn that cannot be traced to intellectual, sensory, or other health factors, or any combination thereof.

A pattern began to emerge with Antwon -- always being the last to turn in his class composition and spending an inordinate amount of time rewriting his words and sentences. It worsened over time. Something was apparently dreadfully wrong when he could not finish the standardized test in eighth grade; in fact, he barely started it and was almost paralyzed with anxiety over filling in the circles properly, completing only a few of the questions in the first section. Antwon’s teacher asked him to talk with the school counselor, and afterwards Antwon agreed that school personnel should contact his parents to see how to help him.
What to do if you are concerned about a potential eating disorder
Identifying young people at risk of an eating disorder
Inform yourself
Watch out for warning signs
Early intervention greatly improves the outcome
Keep notes
Do not "diagnose"
Share your concerns with the school counselor
Expect denial
Talking to a young person suspected of having an eating disorder
Teaching students with eating disorders
Teacher's Role
Talk to the student in private
Feelings > Food
Communicate concern
Listen to what they have to say
Remain calm and communicate back to them
Provide helpful information and support services
Maintain a strong belief in recovery
Provide a safe and supportive environment
Set realistic goals
Remember that recovery is a slow, gradual process
Examine your own attitudes, beliefs, prejudices and behaviours
Media awareness
Signs of Mania
elated mood, often mixed with irritation and aggitation
inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
decreased need for sleep
more talkative than usual, a pressure to keep talking
racing thoughts, distractibility
excessive involvement in potentially dangerous activity
Hedbanz Activity
-Each team has 5 minutes to identify as many words as possible
-The person wearing the headband can only ask questions with YES or NO responses
-Once the word has been identified, the headband is passed to the person sitting to the RIGHT and a new word is placed on the headband
-The player with the headband cannot incorporate the name of a disorder or a synonym for the disorder in their question
Ex: Is the word Anxiety?

Sample Questions
-Is _____ a symptom for my behavioural disorder?
-Does the word relate to body image?
-Is _______ an effective accommodation for my behavioural disorder?
-Are there physical characteristics for my behavioural disorder?

Mood Disorders among Adolescence
approximately 4% of adolescents experience serious depression.
"In children and teens, moods quickly change from one extreme to another without a clear reason. Some children may briefly return to a normal mood between extremes. Many children change continuously between mania and depression, sometimes several times in the same day. Sometimes children with bipolar disorder have symptoms of both mania and depression at the same time."
Bipolar Disorder expression in Children and Teens
Auger, R. (2011). The School Counselor’s Mental Health Sourcebook, Strategies to Help Students Succeed. California: Corwin

Edmunds, A., & Edmunds, G. (2008). Special Education in Canada, United States: McGraw-Hill Ryerson

Hutchinson, F.P. “Enhancing Our Foresight: towards a knowledge base for creative futures teaching.” Education Beyond Violent Futures. Routledge: 1996.

Leininger, M., Dyches, T., Prater, M., & Heath,M. (2010). Teaching Students with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Intervention in school and Clinic, 45 (4), p.221-23

Rector, N., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2008). Abnormal psychology Canadian edition, McGraw-Hill Ryerson
Treatment for depression and bipolar disorder typically consists of medication in addition to counseling.
Mood stabilizers (Lithium)
Antipsychotics (Risperidone, Quentiepine)
Antidepressants (usually in conjunction with mood stabilizers as anti-depressants can increase symptoms of mania)
Antidepressants (Effexor, Celexa, Prozac)
Side effects
website resources
Classroom Management
Specifically for aggression and irritability:

Allow student access to time out space, if requested, prior to aggressive outbursts.

Use signals to help student become conscious of behaviour when escalating

Consider the use of careful humour (not sarcasm) to redirect/defuse.

Converse with the student privately (not in front of peers).

Offer choices to avoid aggression and give the student some control.

Involve the student as part of the problem-solving team.
4.) Build a positive rapport where your student can comfortably self-advocate without fear of judgement or criticism.
Be flexible in providing an alternate period for the student to complete a test/assignment.

Provide a choice of assignments, so the student can select an area of strength.

Reduce distractions/offer an alternative location for testing

Provide extra time to reduce anxiety with completion.

Provide printed assignment requirements and rubrics.
3.) Chances of student success are better when the student is in a positive frame of mind during activities, tests, and other forms of assessment
Develop a signal for the student to use to ask for help (colored sticky note on his/her desk).

Provide for the student to take a physical break (delivering material to another class or to the office).

Play mellow non-vocal music to help maintain a soothing, stable classroom environment during downtimes.
2.) Maintaining a safe, supportive, and calm learning environment
1.) Protecting students feelings of self-worth
Essential Teaching Tips and Accommodations:

Positively reinforce efforts and improvements.

Provide opportunities for the student to demonstrate and recognize his/her strengths.

Provide replacement behaviours and language to combat negative comments made to self or from others.

dry mouth, increase in severity of symptoms
increased thirst, increased urination, nausea, vomiting, sedation, drowsiness, metallic taste in mouth, trembling,
Anti-depressants tend to be well tolerated, however sometimes side effects which may cause distress in students do occur.
Mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics usually have more adverse effects than anti-depressants.
bipolar disorder is less common among children and teenagers with around 1% of teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18 meeting the criteria for bipolar disorder.

Nevertheless studies have shown that depression can be a precursor to bipolar disorder with approximately 20% of teens afflicted with severe depression escalating to bipolar disorder within 5 years.

Adolescents with depression or bipolar disorder are also at greater risk for attempting suicide and substance abuse.
National Institute of Mental Health (nimh.nih.gov)
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