Psychological, emotional and behavioural difficulties
It is thought that around 150,000 children and young people in mainstream and special schools across England are living with emotional behavioural difficulties.
Also known as EBD, emotional behavioural difficulties describes a range of complex difficulties. Children and young people with EBD may be withdrawn or isolated from their family or peers, become hyperactive and lack concentration, present disruptive and disturbing behaviour, might be socially immature, or display challenging behaviours arising from other complex special needs.
Characteristics of EBD may be less obvious; anxiety, depression, a phobia of school or deteriorating emotional well-being or behaviour can also signal emotional behavioural difficulties.
These characteristics also depend on the nature and severity of the difficulties a child is facing. Some might have low self-esteem and shy away from social situations, whilst others can be extroverted and aggressive. Some may behave in a threatening manner or swear excessively. They could find concentrating at school difficult and be unwilling to take instructions or complete work without supervision. Some children will turn to self-destructive coping mechanisms, including substance misuse or self-harm in an attempt to ‘numb’ their emotional turmoil.
The behaviour of a young person with EBD can often challenge parents, teachers and carers outside appropriate, ‘normal’ social boundaries. As such, a child may find forming relationships with peers and authority figures difficult and will often face barriers in their social and educational development.
Psychological, emotional and behavioural difficulties – Case study
Names have been changed to protect identities.
Fourteen year old Adam lives in our residential home. He has emotional and behavioural difficulties which, with the help of staff, he is learning to overcome.
Adam came to us from a troubled family background and was frequently found to be living on the streets. He had not attended school for many years and was unable to read or write.
At the care home, Adam has been given the care and access to education that he needs. The care team, through their encouragement and support, have raised Adam’s self esteem and have given him the skills needed to interact with other members of the community, both adults and peers.
Thanks to the the hard work of the staff at the home, Adam’s literacy and numeracy have shown a vast improvement as has his social and emotional development. This has had an invaluable impact on his confidence and he continues to progress.