Knowing what’s normal and what signals a major brain disorder is difficult. It becomes harder when a child does well in one place and not another. Some keep it together at home and act up at school, some can’t do school and act out there. This article touches on some of the complexities.
My push is always first to rule out trauma based reactions and learning disablities. For trauma: start thinking about asthma attacks, witnessing violence, being in an accident or badly hurt. The doctors don’t usually think trauma and sadly are more likely to think bad parenting. For disruptive school behavior always think learning disability and insist on a good evaluation outside of the school. Schools also tend to think bad parenting if a child is disruptive, when the behavior is more likely linked to learning challenges.
NAMI is fighting the tendency to blame parents without looking at more likely atlternatives. NAMI offers support for challenging children and their parents. They are on Facebooks which is where I found this article. Here is their web page: http://www.nami.org