Early Childhood Behavioral and Emotional Disorders
Rarely will a child under 5 years old receive a diagnosis of a serious behavioral disorder. However, they may begin displaying symptoms of a disorder that could be diagnosed later in childhood. These may include:
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
- autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
- anxiety disorder
- bipolar disorder
- learning disorders
- conduct disorders
Many of these you’ve likely heard of. Others are more rare or aren’t often used outside of discussions about childhood psychology.
ODD, for instance, includes angry outbursts, typically directed at people in authority. But a diagnosis is dependent on the behaviors lasting continuously for more than six months and disrupting a child’s functioning. Conduct disorder is a far more serious diagnosis and involves behavior one would consider cruel, to both other people as well as to animals. This can include physical violence and even criminal activity — behaviors that are very uncommon in preschool-age children.