The link between social emotional and behavioural difficulties

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The link between social emotional and behavioural difficulties

As with learning disabilities, the definition used for this exceptionality has been controversial. Unlike, learning disabilities which defines its expcetionality within the context of a neurological etiology, behavioural disorders can occur as a result of neurological, psychological and environmental factors.

As a result, the behavioural definition has to capture a diverse student population. The behaviour breaks from age, social and cultural norms. Inappropriate behavior is consistently exhibited in at least two different settings.

One such factor is a learning disability. One area of interest to researchers has been the association between learning disabilities and psychopathology.

Of these children, 25 percent had learning disabilities and 75 percent of the LD children had a psychiatric illness. The most prominent diagnosis fell under the spectrum of anxiety disorders and a minority were diagnosed with depression.

Other studies have pointed out that though LD children are not likely to suffer from depression more often than those in the general population, children who have both learning disabilities and depression reported less self-esteem, were more detached and had a bleaker view, than depressed children without learning disabilities.


Another area of interest is the relationship between learning disabilities and somatic complaints. Margalit and Raviv compared the prevalence of somatic complaints in learning disabled children with two control groups.

In the LD group, 54 percent had somatic complaints as opposed to 9 percent and 13 percent in the two control groups. The primary complaint amongst the LD group was fatigue.

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A third area where learning disabilities and behavioral problems coexist is with social behaviour. Often children with learning disabilities have problems with familial and peer relationships. This may be the result of processing problems which make it difficult for LD children to pick up social cues.

This in turn may result in avoidance behaviour. This type of behaviour is often used as a defense to avoid stress generated by social interactions. Children who are unable to develop avoidance defenses may use irritable or aggressive behaviour to cope with stress associated with social interactions.

When learning disabilities and behavioural problems appear together, it is important to identify whether the behaviour is secondary to the learning disability or co-morbid. When the negative behaviour is caused by the learning disability, the solution to that behaviour often lies in dealing with the learning disability.

When it is co-morbid, the interventions become more complicated, since the behaviour has to be treated separately from the learning disability. In this case, the burden of suffering should be seen as the primary problem.

If it is the behaviour presenting the greatest suffering, then it should be managed first and if it is the learning disability, then it will become the top priority.

Often when dealing with the complexity of coexisting learning disability and behavioural problems, finding the solution becomes a process of trial and error. Whatever the situation, it is important to be aware of the distress caused when the complex interactions of learning, emotions and behaviour are hampered by a learning disorder.

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SEBDaffect 3 times as many boys as girls because girls have the habit to internalize more than boys. social, emotional, and academic competencies as well as improvements in the quality of learning environments.

The link between social emotional and behavioural difficulties

There is growing recognition at the local, state, and federal levels in the United States. Children and young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) are far more likely to have communication problems than their peers, yet these problems are under-recognised.

Priory Group has extensive experience in working with children and young people with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) difficulties (previously referred to .

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Social and emotional skills begin developing during early childhood. Parents can set the stage for these skills to be learned effectively.

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Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD)