Common Behavioural Disorders in Kids

Is your kid always adamant and throws tantrums? Is he/she being very rude or aggressive to you or other family members? It is very common for most kids to throw temper tantrums or act impulsively or defiantly. These are frequently typical phases of childhood development. But when the behaviour is consistent, prolonged, or out of place for the child’s age and stage of development, it could be a symptom of behavioural disorders. Continue reading to know more about behaviour disorders, their signs & symptoms, causes and types.

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WHAT IS Behaviour disorderS?

Children with behaviour disorders typically exhibit a pattern of persistently disruptive behaviour that causes issues at home, school, and in social settings. Behavioural disorders range from persistent impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. Children under the age of five are not frequently diagnosed with major behavioural disorders, but they can display indicators. Children’s behavioural issues might occasionally be an indicator of neurological conditions like autism. The wide spectrum of autism poses cognitive, behavioural, and social difficulties for kids.

Also, Check: Tantrums and ADHD


The following are some possible causes of behaviour disorders in kids:

  • Gender: Behavioural disorders are far more common in boys than in girls.
  • Gestation and birth: Difficult pregnancies, early birth, and low birth contribute to behaviour issues in kids. Parents who smoke or have a habit of substance abuse or any other addictions can lead to kids being exposed to these toxins which will manifest as behaviour disorders when they grow up.
  • Temperament: Early-on temperamental, aggressive, or difficult-to-control children are more prone to behavioural disorders. (Parents guide for the anger management in kids)
  • Family life: Kids in dysfunctional homes and in families facing domestic violence, poverty, poor parenting skills or substance abuse are at higher risk of behavioural disorders.
  • Learning difficulties: Reading and writing difficulties are frequently linked to behavioural disorders. (Learning disability in kids)
  • Intellectual disabilities: Children with intellectual disabilities are twice as likely to have behavioural disorders.
  • Trauma: Stress that is severe or ongoing can cause psychological trauma, a complicated emotional and physical reaction. Early trauma exposure can affect a child’s development.
  • Brain development: There is evidence that suggests alterations in neurotransmitter levels, brain development, and brain anatomy may affect behavioural disorders. For instance, in children with ADHD, the brain’s attention-controlling regions are less active. Aggression may also be influenced by low serotonin and excessive sensitivity to the stress hormone cortisol.

 Also, Check: Autism and behaviour issues

Types of Behavioural disorders:

1. ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder):

ADHD is the most prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder. Children with this condition have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive actions, and regulating their restless feelings. ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) symptoms typically appear between the ages of 3 and 6. This is the most prevalent type of behavioural disorder and is thought to affect two to five percent of children. Because ADHD affects the sexes differently, it is less frequently diagnosed in girls.

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Types OF ADHD:
  1. Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive
  2. Predominantly inattentive
  3. Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive 

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  • Trouble in staying focused on a task
  • Often makes careless mistakes
  • Easily distracted
  • Difficulty in following instructions
  • Frequently avoid tasks that require a long time
  • Can’t remain still
  • Disorganized
  • Inability to control oneself or be impulsive
  • Excessive and uncontrolled movements
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Short attention spans and a lack of focus

Also, Check: 8 effective ways to manage hyperactive kids

2. ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder):

Defiance and disobedience towards authority people are characteristics of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Disruptive behaviour disorder, or ODD, can result in serious issues at home and in the classroom. When a child is a toddler or adolescent, oppositional conduct is a common developmental stage. However, when compared to other people of the same age, that conduct becomes hostile, frequent, and excessive, it may signify ODD. It can typically begin as early as 8 years or even up to 12 years in some kids. 

  • Frequently irritated
  • Arguing back with the adult or refusing to do what they ask
  • Intentionally causing annoyance to others
  • Being bitter and resentful
  • Accusing others of wrongdoing
3. Conduct Disorder (CD):

Conduct disorder is diagnosed in older adolescents or teenagers who repeatedly violate rules or exhibit irresponsible behaviour. Frequent violations of social norms or other people’s rights are a defining characteristic of CD. It is estimated that 5% of 10-year-olds have CD, with boys outnumbering girls four to one. Children with CD and ADHD together make up one-third of the population. In the general population, 6- 16% of boys and 2- 9% of girls are at risk for CD. Many people with CD find it challenging to understand other people’s behaviour. In addition to having trouble empathising, people with CD may also struggle with other mental health issues like anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, which have an impact on their way of thinking and acting.  

  • Persistent disobedience toward parents or other people of authority
  • Running away from home
  • Lack of empathy for others
  • Damaging other’s property
  • Being hostile to people and animals
  • Engaging in cruel behaviour, such as bullying and physical or sexual abuse
  • Willingness to initiate violent conflict
  • Physical aggression towards animals and people 

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If you think your child may have a behaviour disorder, it’s necessary to have them examined by a licenced mental health expert because many disorders can get worse over time without treatment.


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