Learning disorders can be diagnosed by taking a careful history and reviewing academic records and psychoeducational testing. Strategies can then be employed to overcome academic deficiencies and at times by re-directing energies in directions in which those deficiencies will not impair progress.
Child and adolescent conduct disorders are particularly challenging for the clinician. A conduct disorder is defined as a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which either the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated, as manifested by the presence of three or more of the following criteria in the past twelve months with at least one criteria present in the past 6 months:
- Aggression to people or animals
- Destruction of property
- Deceitfulness or theft
- Serious violation of rules
Conduct disorders can either be of childhood or adolescence onset type and are described as mild, moderate or severe. Treatment approaches include family psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and parent effectiveness training.