Behavioral Concerns in the Classroom

  • Mental illness is prevalent in our society. Of children living in the United States, 13% to 20% experience a mental illness in a given year, and surveillance over the past two decades has shown the prevalence of these conditions to be increasing. Half of adult mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders begin before age 14 and three-fourths by age 24. With this statistical data, it would be advantageous if we could recognize some early signs/behaviors that are indicative of possible mental illnesses. Please find listed below some universal early indicators.

    1. Frequent physical complaints (stomach aches, headaches, etc.)
    2. Obvious decline in school performance
    3. Poor grades in school despite trying very hard
    4. Extreme difficulty concentrating or staying still that puts the student in physical danger or causes problems in the classroom
    5. Severe worry or anxiety, as shown by regular refusal to go to school, go to sleep or take part in activities that are normal for the child's age
    6. Persistent disobedience or aggression (longer than 6 months) and challenging opposition to authority figures, truancy, thefts, and vandalism
    7. Frequent, unexplainable temper tantrums, anger outbursts
    8. Threatens to harm or kill oneself
    9. Involvement in many fights or desire to badly hurt others
    10. Drastic changes in the student’s behavior or personality (mood swings)
    11. Self injury or self-destructive behaviors
    12. Not eating, throwing up, or using laxatives to make oneself lose weight
    13. Persistent nightmares
    14. Repeated use of drugs or alcohol

    If these behavioral symptoms are present and continuous, please speak with your school guidance counselor and/or a mental health professional.