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Is My Child Just Bad – Or Does He Have A Conduct Disorder – Defenses & Sentencing In Colorado Juvenile Law Cases

By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Juvenile Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer – Email the Author hmsteinberg@hotmail.com

Is My Child Just Bad – Or Does He Have A Conduct Disorder – Defenses & Sentencing In Colorado Juvenile Law Cases – Many Colorado parents whose children are charged in Colorado juvenile court are in the frustrating position of defending their children from the harsh consequences of their actions and teaching them to learn from their mistakes by attempting rehabilitation through the court system.

Is My Child Just Bad - Or Does He Have A Conduct Disorder - Defenses & Sentencing In Colorado Juvenile Law Cases


Is My Child Just Bad – Or Does He Have A Conduct Disorder – Defenses & Sentencing In Colorado Juvenile Law Cases

This multi-part article addresses the role of so called conduct disorders in helping to mitigate serious juvenile criminal acts and seeking compassion, understanding, and treatment – not punishment – from the Colorado Juvenile Justice System.

Does My Child Have A Conduct Disorder And Was It The Reason Why He Committed This Crime?

Conduct disorder causes children to violate the personal or property rights of others over and over. The diagnosis includes symptoms exist for 6 months or longer.

There are different types of conduct disorders. One well known preliminary disorder is disruptive behavior disorder another is “oppositional defiance disorder.” A child that remains hostile and defiant for at least 6 months qualifies these disorders as a precursor of the more serious diagnosis of “conduct disorder.”

“Conduct disorder” then is defined as a “group” of behavioral and emotional problems in younf people.

Parents aware of oppositional defiant disorder may see certain characteristics in their child begin to appear in their preschool years. Years later this behavior can evolve into conduct disorder.

Conduct Disorder: What Are The Signs?

      • Aggressive behavior that harms or threatens other people or animals;
      • Destructive behavior that damages or destroys property;
      • Lying or theft, deceitfulness;
      • Truancy or other serious violations of rules;
      • Early tobacco, alcohol, and substance use and abuse; and
      • Precocious sexual activity.
      • Depression, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, and suicide;
      • Academic difficulties;
      • Poor relationships with peers or adults;
      • Sexually transmitted diseases;
      • Difficulty staying in adoptive, foster, or group homes; and
      • Higher rates of injuries, school expulsions, and problems with the law.
      • Often stays out at night despite parental objections
      • Runs away from home
      • Often truant from school

Children who exhibit these behaviors should receive a comprehensive mental health evaluation. Many children with a conduct disorder may have coexisting conditions such as mood disorders,

These Children Need Therapy – Not Punishment

First and foremost conduct disorder is a psychiatric disorder, not just bad behavior.

Society often views children with mental health disorders as “bad” or “delinquent,” rather than having a mental illness. They ignore or fail to take into account brain damage, child abuse, genetic vulnerability, school failure, and traumatic life experiences.

It has been shown that children with Conduct Disorder can be helped by a combination of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy and while there may not be a specific medication for the treatment of conduct disorder, medication prescribed for other conditions can impact and reduce conduct disorder.

Psychotherapy in this area works – Psychotherapy and behavioral therapy may take long periods of time, and often require that the entire family and support network of the child enter the “loop” of treatment. It is long and hard – but it is worth it.

All of us should be on the alert for CD – the earlier the condition is diagnosed, the more likely the therapy will succeed.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) And Conduct Disorder

CBT Works On CD – because:

  • Is the most evidence-based form of psychotherapy.
  • Is active, problem focused, and goal directed. In contrast to many “talk therapies,”
  • CBT emphasizes the present, concentrating on what the problem is and what steps are needed to alleviate it.
  • Is easy to measure. (Example – changing behaviors and other measurable outcomes).
  • Provides quick results if the child is motivated to change.

Conduct Disorder CAN Involve Violence – What Are The Risk Factors Include?

  • A history of violent victimization or involvement
  • Attention deficits, hyperactivity, or learning disorders
  • A history of early aggressive behavior
  • An Involvement with drugs, alcohol, or tobacco
  • IQ Issues
  • Poor behavior control
  • Deficits in social cognitive or information- processing abilities
  • High emotional distress
  • History of treatment for emotional problems
  • Antisocial beliefs and attitudes
  • Exposure to conflict in the family
  • Some Peer – School Risk Factors Include:
  • An association with delinquent peers
  • The involvement in gangs
  • Social rejection by peers
  • Lack of involvement in conventional activities
  • Poor academic performance
  • Low commitment to school and school failure

Protective Factors – To Prevent Violence

Protective factors are factors that act as “buffers” to the likelihood for violence and can assist the criminal defense lawyer to persuade the DA and the Court to give a child a chance to get better.

The Individual Protective Factors Are:

  • An intolerant attitude toward deviance
  • A high IQ or high grade point average
  • A positive social orientation
  • Involvement in religion

Family Protective Factors Are:

  • A connectedness to family or adults outside of the family
  • The ability to discuss problems with parents
  • A perceived parental expectations about school performance are high
  • Frequent shared activities with parents
  • The consistent presence of parent when awakening, arriving home from school, at evening mealtime, or when going to bed
  • An involvement in social activities

Peer Or School Protective Factors Are:

  • A commitment to school
  • The involvement in social activities

Summary – Educating Yourself About Conduct Disorder

For some children – so called “bad behavior” is the of a conduct disorder. These children are acting out because they are in need of treatment not punishment. Parents and guardians need to look for signs of the disorder at a very young age before acting out becomes criminal behavior.

The goal then is to identify the issues – obtain the diagnosis – and begin treatment when it is clear to all that a “persistent pattern” emerges the is internally based and not normal growing up pains. There is evidence that the MRI’s of children with CD establish their brains work differently from other children and that the dangers they face – to themselves and others – if left untreated – can end badly.

Is My Child Just Bad – Or Does He Have A Conduct Disorder – Defenses & Sentencing In Colorado Juvenile Law Cases

If you found any information I have provided on this web page article helpful please click my Plus+1 button below so that others may also find it.

H. Michael Steinberg has over 30 years of experience in the Colorado Criminal Law area of .. .in Denver, Arapahoe, Douglas, and All Counties along the Front Range of Colorado.

Never stop fighting – never stop believing in yourself and your right to due process of law.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author at hmsteinberg@hotmail.com – A Denver Colorado Juvenile  Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-220-2277.

If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions about the topic of this article – Is My Child Just Bad – Or Does He Have A Conduct Disorder – Defenses & Sentencing In Colorado Juvenile Law Cases , please call our office. The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.

Colorado Juvenile Criminal Defense LawyerH. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of day to day courtroom experience – specializing in Colorado Criminal Law along the Front Range. He will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options. Remember, it costs NOTHING to discuss your case. Call now for an immediate free phone consultation.

Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases.

Contact A Lawyer with Three Decades of Experience as a Denver Criminal Attorney at The Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm today.

Colorado Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg regularly appears and provides solid criminal defense for clients throughout the Front Range of Colorado – including the courts of:

Adams County (Adams County criminal defense lawyer), Arapahoe County (Arapahoe County criminal defense lawyer), City and County of Boulder (Boulder County criminal defense lawyer), City and County of Broomfield (Broomfield County criminal defense lawyer), City and County of Denver (Denver criminal defense lawyer), Douglas County (Douglas County criminal defense lawyer), El Paso County – Colorado Springs (Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer), Gilpin County (Gilpin County criminal defense lawyer), Jefferson County (Jefferson County criminal defense lawyer), Larimer County, and Weld County ( Larimer and Weld County criminal defense lawyer,….

and all the other cities and counties of Colorado along the I-25 Corridor… on cases involving the subject of this article – Is My Child Just Bad – Or Does He Have A Conduct Disorder – Defenses & Sentencing In Colorado Juvenile Law Cases


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If you found the information provided on this webpage to be helpful, please click my Plus+1 button so that others may also find it.

___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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