|Home / Care for Duchenne / Behavioral Issues by Stages|
Behavioral Issues by Stages
The following categories are provided as general guidelines to keep in mind when a child with Duchenne is in the classroom. Special issues listed in one stage may continue to be problematic in subsequent stages.
Pre-K, Kindergarten, & Early Elementary (ages 1-7)
Behavior problems are quite common in all preschool children, and boys with Duchenne are no different. However, young boys with Duchenne may have more difficulty with impulsivity and emotional control than other children their age. They are also more likely to be rigid and inflexible in their thinking, which can result in noncompliance or arguing. They may have difficulty making transitions. They may also be taking steroid medication with strong side effects that can have an impact on their behavior, such as making them more emotional and active than normal.
Elementary and Middle School (ages 7-11)
Children with Duchenne tend to become more aware of their differences and limitations during this stage. Although most boys adjust well to their condition over time, there may be times of emotional distress because of Duchenne. Boys age 8 to 10 years may be most likely to have adjustment problems, as this is usually the time just prior to transition to use of a wheelchair on a regular basis.
Junior High and High School (ages 12-18)
As with any child, adolescence may be a difficult time for young men with Duchenne. Physical limitations and disruption in physical development that may occur with some medical treatment (e.g., short stature or delay of puberty from steroid treatment) may make adolescence more problematic. This can also be a difficult time for teens who are unable to establish their independence because they require more care and assistance from others, such as parents. As muscle weakness progresses, they are at risk for becoming more isolated or socially withdrawn. Parents and teachers should look for signs of chronic sadness, depression, or anxiety.