As adults and parents, we can recall the tumultuous teen years. What is considered emotionally disturbed in a teen? How can you tell that it’s not simply just regular teen angst or acting out? And just how do you know when it’s the right time to get your teen help? Are there schools for emotionally disturbed students? Help Your Teen Now specializes in helping troubled teens and their families.
Emotional Teen – What Behaviors Should You Watch?
Parenting can throw us countless curveballs. Just when we think that we’ve got our children figured out and have a handle on this parenting gig, something happens to set us off-kilter again.
Adolescence is a time of conflicting emotions, hormones, and life changes. Teens may start to feel pressure to decide what their future is going to look like. All of this can result in emotional outbursts that parents were not expecting and may not know how to handle.
What this can look like in your teen may look completely different in another teen, even a sibling.
- Moodiness, without apparent reason.
There may be more slamming of bedroom doors, more stomping up the stairs because a sibling looked at them too long, or tears because a favorite pair of jeans no longer fit. For many teens, this is considered to be normal and expected. How can you tell when your teen’s emotional outbursts and behaviors are expanding beyond what is considered normal for their age and situation?
Signs of Emotionally Disturbed Students
We all have varying levels of what we consider to be appropriate behavior for our children and other family members.
The first step is to understand better what defines an emotional disturbance. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines emotional disturbance. The condition involves exhibiting one or more certain characteristics over an extended period and to the degree that takes a negative toll on the educational performance of the child or teen. These could include the following.
- Struggling to focus on schoolwork and having a hard time learning can’t be explained by other factors, including health, sensory or intellectual.
- Difficulty building and maintaining relationships with both peers, teachers, siblings, and parents.
- Displaying inappropriate behavior or emotions under what would otherwise be considered normal circumstances.
- Showing the signs of depression and general unhappiness with moods.
- Developing fears connected with school or personal issues.
Some of the behavioral signs of emotional disturbances in teens could include the following.
- Withdrawal from social circles and family togetherness.
- Hyperactivity and a lack of focus.
- Self-harm or aggressive behavior.
- Age-inappropriate immaturity, including poor coping skills, crying, and tantrums.
- Learning difficulties.
Teens who struggle with the most serious of emotional disturbances could also display signs of extreme anxiety and abnormal mood swings. It’s important to note that some children who are not emotionally disturbed could show signs of these same behaviors as a part of normal development. However, they tend not to continue for long periods of time. Teens who continue to show these signs in their behavior are signaling that they are struggling to cope with their family life, peers, and environment.
How Can a Therapeutic Boarding School Help?
If you have tried unsuccessfully to get your teen help, whether through therapy or through his school counselors, you may find yourself feeling quite frustrated and stressed. How can you help your emotionally disturbed teen get the right help that he needs to refocus his life in a healthy and positive direction?
At times, getting your teen out and away from the environment where he struggled can be the best solution. A therapeutic boarding school can offer your teen the right environment he needs to heal, grow, refocus, and learn more about himself.
Just what can be expected within the confines of a therapeutic boarding school? You might be surprised to learn that these facilities offer around-the-clock supervision and care for the students they are tasked with caring for.
Your teen will find a range of benefits when he attends a therapeutic boarding school, with a focus on some of the following areas.
- Structure. Therapeutic boarding schools offer some of the structure that may have been lacking in your teen’s home and school life. Whether he has struggled with a lack of focus on his schoolwork or something else entirely, knowing what to expect from his day can help your teen to better direct his attention on healthy things.
- Focused treatment. Sometimes therapy is not targeted to meet the needs of the individual. In the right type of therapeutic boarding school, your teen will have each of his mental wellness needs addressed and met. This approach will ensure that he is in a better position to heal and grow while going through therapy. Therapeutic options can vary based on facility and need.
- Opportunity for accountability. Even teens who have chore lists and responsibilities at home can find that the structured environment in a therapeutic boarding school allows them more opportunities for accountability. Teens will be able to learn valuable life skills that could include learning how to pick up after themselves, learning more about doing their own laundry, and even preparing for meals.
- Leadership and peer guidance. Emotionally disturbed teens may struggle with making friends, maintaining friendships, and learning how to be leaders in their community. Therapeutic boarding schools often allow teens to learn and lead within their peer group. They can make long-lasting friendships with teens who have faced similar struggles.
With all of the offered therapies, structure, and support, teens who have been struggling can find themselves better mentally and emotionally equipped to tackle all of the challenges that life will send their way. When teens return home and to the same environment that was proving difficult to thrive in, they will be better able to handle themselves, their emotions, reactions, and responses. Contact Help Your Teen Now to discuss your teen’s needs and how we can assist in finding the right treatment program for your teen.