Treat­ing the an­ti­so­cial child

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - BRIGHT KIDS -

HENDRY and Lisa (not their real names) found it dif­fi­cult to han­dle their 10-year-old daugh­ter, May.

She had had an­ti­so­cial prob­lems since her preschool years.

Hendry and Lisa never con­sid­ered their daugh­ter’s prob­lem se­ri­ous un­til she started Year 4 in pri­mary school.

May could not dis­tin­guish right from wrong.

She would some­times pur­posely break her sib­lings’ and friends’ sta­tionery and was un­friendly and ag­gres­sive to­wards oth­ers.

She was also un­aware of so­cial or cul­tural con­texts, caus­ing her to dis­re­spect oth­ers, in­clud­ing her par­ents, teach­ers and el­ders.

The sit­u­a­tion be­came worse when May got older.

By then, the num­ber of calls Hendry and Lisa were re­ceiv­ing from the school re­gard­ing May’s be­havioural is­sues were in­creas­ing day by day.

Her school re­sults were also de­te­ri­o­rat­ing al­though she at­tended tu­ition classes.

Her par­ents sought in­for­ma­tion from the In­ter­net and so­cial me­dia on how and who could deal with their daugh­ter’s an­ti­so­cial prob­lem.

They found ChildPsych, the Cen­tre for Chil­dren and Ado­les­cence Psy­chol­ogy, which was able to help with their daugh­ter’s prob­lem.

The psy­chol­o­gist found that May could be suf­fer­ing from a de­vel­op­men­tal dis­or­der called an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour.

It is a psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­or­der or neuro-de­vel­op­men­tal be­havioural dis­or­der char­ac­terised by sig­nif­i­cant vi­o­la­tion of the rights of oth­ers.

Covert an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iours in­clude dis­hon­esty, non­com­pli­ance, sneak­ing or se­cretly de­stroy­ing the prop­erty of other peo­ple.

Overt an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iours in­clude de­struc­tive ac­tions against other peo­ple such as ha­rass­ment, ver­bal or non-ver­bal abuse and de­struc­tive ac­tions against prop­erty.

A child with an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour may also abuse drug and al­co­hol and be in­volved in dan­ger­ous ac­tiv­i­ties if un­treated.

Prin­ci­pal con­sul­tant child psy­chol­o­gist of the In­ter­na­tional Psy­chol­ogy Cen­tre Dr Weng Lok Chan said most an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour dis­or­ders can be treated, es­pe­cially if pa­tients are brought to the psy­chol­o­gist when they are young.

Psy­cho-ed­u­ca­tional ther­a­pies based on the re­sults of their psy­cho­log­i­cal as­sess­ment are de­vel­oped to help them over­come their an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iours.

Psy­cho-nutritional ther­apy is also tai­lored to a pa­tient’s lab re­sults.

This in­cludes bal­anc­ing de­fi­cient neu­ro­trans­mit­ters with nat­u­ral psy­cho nutritional sup­ple­ments.

May’s be­hav­iour im­proved within six to 12 ses­sions.

ar­ti­cle is con­trib­uted by ChildPsych, the Child Psy­chol­ogy Di­vi­sion of the In­ter­na­tional Psy­chol­ogy Cen­tre’s team of psy­chol­o­gists, ed­u­ca­tional psy­chol­o­gist and psy­chonu­tri­tional ther­a­pists.

They can be con­tacted at the In­ter­na­tional Psy­chol­ogy Cen­tre Sdn Bhd, 11-1 Wisma Lax­ton, Jalan Desa, Ta­man Desa, Kuala Lumpur.

Call 03-2727 7434, e-mail info@psy­chol­ or childpsych@psy­chol­ or log on to www.psy­chol­ my

Bul­ly­ing is a form of an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour.

An­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour should be ad­dressed as early as pos­si­ble.

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