March, 23 2008
It is important for professionals and family members to become self aware while working with students with emotional disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, substance addiction, bipolar disorder, panic or phobic anxieties, and sleep disorders. Research has shown that there are many children with emotional disorders, as many as 12 million American children suffer from some type of mental disorder. вЂњThe frequency and intensity of studentsвЂ™ emotional and behavioral disorders have increased in the past several yearsвЂќ (pg.8 Richardson, Shupe). Teachers and professionals who work with children with disabilities can build more positive relationships with children by taking proactive steps to increase their own self-awareness (pg.8). Children with emotional disorders have treatable disorders. The chances of a child having some type of an emotional disorder in the classroom is very likely and as professionals we must be aware of that and be ready when it happens.
Researchers have found that caring for a child with emotional disorders can take a toll on the childвЂ™s family. With all the effort, time, and money that is being spent on the child there is no room at the end of the day for families to cope. They may be blaming each other for the disorder, complaining about the money that is being spent on the child, or just who is going to take care of them for the rest of their lives. вЂњMany adults think that emotional issues do not take affect in early years but the truth is that children are
susceptible to emotional problems at any age. They often have a difficult time handling and overcoming painful emotions and situationsвЂќ (Emotional disorders, phobias, separation anxiety).
A child or person with an emotional disorder are вЂњcharacterized as primarily by behavior that falls significantly beyond the norms of their culture and age group on two dimensions: externalizing and internalizing. Both patterns of abnormal behavior have adverse effects on childrenвЂ™s academic achievement and social relationshipsвЂќ (pg.223, Heward). Schizophrenia is one emotional disorder that affects many young children and young adults today. It is a вЂњsevere psychotic disorder characterized by delusions, hallucinations (hearing voices), unfounded fears of persecution, disorganized speech, catatonic behavior (stupor and muscular rigidity), restricted range and intensity of emotional expression (affective flattening), reduced though and speech productivity, and decreased initiation of goal-directed behavior. The disorder affects males and females with equal frequency. The onset of it typically occurs during adolescence or early adulthood of a personвЂ™s life. Most people with schizophrenia alternate between acute psychotic episodes and stable phases with few or no symptomsвЂќ (pg.227, Heward). Meaning that a person who has schizophrenia will go through periods of showing small to no symptoms throughout the disorder.
Schizophrenia is a lifelong, incapacitating mental disorder that truly makes it difficult to recognize between reality and fantasy. This situations cause people to be fearful and afraid which is very upsetting to professionals and especially their families. It is a disorder that occurs in вЂњ1 in 40,000 children under the age of 13 years oldвЂќ (Bright
Tots). As a child gets older their chance of having schizophrenia increases when they are between the ages of 15 and 30. Males tend to have a higher chance in having this disorder than females. Males also tend to experience signs at a younger age. Adolescent schizophrenia is the same as adult schizophrenia, the вЂњearly age of onset suggests special considerations for diagnosis, treatment, educational needs, emotional and social development, family relationships, and other issues.
As a child begins to experience their first psychotic episode they exhibit many early signs such as being вЂњsocially withdrawn, disruptive in settings, experience learning difficulties, speech or language impairments, or other developmental delaysвЂќ (Bright Tots). Maintaining personal relationships is very important for present and future adjustments in an adolescentвЂ™s life. Many adolescents and young adults with schizophrenia are anything but aggressive. Actually, it is the opposite they experience too little social interaction with others. They are said to have вЂњinternalizing behavioral disordersвЂќ (pg.225, Heward). People who exhibit these types of behaviors do not have the social