Posts Tagged ‘Common’

Common Disorders of Adolescents

April 7th, 2021

Not all diagnosable problems for adolescents are effectively treatable in a residential facility. For instance, a disorder that significantly inhibits an adolescent from performing basic physical, social, and intellectual functions, or that places the child at significant disadvantage in interacting with a team of peers typically requires a more specialized treatment environment than Provo Canyon School. For this reason, Provo Canyon School maintains what is called “exclusionary criteria” that guides parents, referring professionals, and Provo Canyon staff in the admission process. The criterion are for the benefit of all stakeholders, and help prevent inappropriate placement that may result in lost time and monetary resources.

Over its nearly 40 years of service in the mental health field, Provo Canyon School has treated many different disabilities and disorders in adolescents. Disorders that require specialized treatment, that place the youth or others at serious risk or danger, or that prevent a youth from actively participating in their treatment program and the requirements of the environment are normally not admitted.

When denied admission because the client’s needs cannot be adequately served, admission staff makes every effort to assist the family in finding meaningful care. The following disorders are typically not approved for admission because of reasons stated above:

· Severe psychiatric disorders that require specialized hospitalization

· Brain injuries that impede basic emotional or behavior functioning

· Pregnancy or other physical conditions beyond the School’s capacity to provide care

· Severe social disorders that would place the child or other children at risk

· Manifest violent behavior that would endanger client, other youth, and care staff

· Physical handicaps that prevent the youth from reasonable program participation

· Mental disorders, such as retardation, that prevent child from normal interaction

· Serious diseases or other injuries that prevent the child from program participation

Provo Canyon School psychiatrists and therapists use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) to diagnose adolescent problems and to give the basis for treatment planning. Some disorders present themselves clearly in childhood and adolescence, and others only show indications during youth, but do not fully emerge until adulthood. Diagnosing disorders is a scientific art, not always an exact science. It is based upon the accuracy of observing and reporting symptoms of a problem which may or may not be clearly observable.

According to the DSM-IV, disorders that typically onset in infancy, childhood, or adolescence include: mental retardation, learning disabilities, motor skills disorders, communication disorders, pervasive developmental disorders, attention-deficit and hyperactive disorders, conduct and oppositional defiant disorders, eating disorders, tic disorders (Tourette’s), and elimination disorders inappropriate passage of feces or urine.

Mental Retardation: Mental retardation normally excludes admission to Provo Canyon School, especially if the prospective client exhibits behavior that suggests they would have difficulty adapting to the necessities of the treatment environment. Students with an Intelligence Quotient (IQ) below 80 are typically not suited for Provo Canyon School.

Learning Disabilities: Learning disabilities are actually quite typical among Provo Canyon School students, and often include deficits in reading, comprehension, mathematics, and writing. Learning disability has little or nothing to do with actual intelligence. A learning disability is identified when testing indicates fairly normal intellectual capacities across a broad intellectual spectrum except in one particular area, such as reading, math, spelling, or writing. A disability differs from a pervasive learning disorder when testing indicates that the child is impaired in many or all intellectual capacities. A pervasive disorder generally indicates that the student would not flourish at PCS. Disabilities in one skill area, such as reading, can create problems in many or all academic subjects that require reading, so this must be carefully evaluated. Hence, all incoming students to Provo Canyon School are tested prior to beginning school to determine academic placement and capacities.

Attention Deficit: A very common learning disability among students of Provo Canyon School is Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These students are frequently quite bright, but have not been able to succeed in the typical classroom setting because of focus, attention, and concentration deficits. Combined proper medication, stable school environments, and sound therapy, helps P.C.S. students succeed in school where once they were failing. One of the winning qualities of Provo Canyon School is its nationally recognized academic learning program and teachers that are either certified or actively seeking certification in special education. Classes are kept typically small with a high student-teacher ratio for increased interaction.

Developmental Coordination Disorders: Prospective clients that exhibit marked impairment in motor coordination for their age would not thrive in a residential environment where their challenges would markedly prevent meaningful participation in daily tasks, school, and team activities.

Communication Disorders: These disorders are characterized by difficulties in speech and language skills and include disabilities in expression, reception (understanding messages spoken to them), stuttering, phonological (use of speech sounds), and other communication problems. When such disabilities significantly impair a client from thriving in the treatment environment, they should be treated where specialized care can be provided.

Pervasive Developmental Disorders: These disorders include severe deficits in several areas of human development. They include impairment in social interaction, communication, and the presence of stereotyped behaviors and activities. Such disorders include Autism, Rett’s Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, and other developmental disorders less specified. Although moderate and severe disabilities prevent a client from meaningful care at Provo Canyon School, the School has had notable success in treating pre-adolescent youth (ages 11-13) with Asperger’s Disorder, Rett’s Disorder and mild autism. A specialized program has been developed specifically for these younger students with specialized instruction and behavior modification techniques.

Eating Disorders: Several students at Provo Canyon School have eating disorders along with other disabilities, and receive medical, dietary, and therapy care. However, P.C.S. is not a specialized eating disorder program and does not have the necessary medical staff, equipment, or specialized program to treat serious eating disordered patients. Eating disorders in PCS students normally co-exist with and are outgrowths of other psycho-emotional problems such as post-traumatic stress or abuse, and include Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa.

Conduct Disorders: Students who violate the basic rights of others and social norms and rules, or who manifest a pattern of hostile, negative, and defiant behavior make good progress in the structured treatment environment of Provo Canyon School. The School does not accept clients who have histories of extreme violence or sociopathic qualities that present a danger to other clients and staff. If the client presents an unreasonable danger to self or to others, they are best treated at a facility that can provide necessary restrictions and controls. These clients have been successfully integrated and treated with other students having other various disabilities and disorders.