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Behavior Tips RECS Learning Module


  1. Know that normal individuals may demonstrate repetitive movements
  2. Recognize that parental counseling should address the temperamental characteristics of infants
  3. Know the natural history of thumb sucking (onset in utero or in the first few months after birth, peak at 18-21 months of age, resolution by 4 years of age)
  4. Know the benefits and risks of various approaches to dealing with prolonged thumb sucking
  5. Know the problems of prolonged thumb sucking
  6. Know the clinical features and natural history of self-exploration and masturbation
  7. Know how to appropriately counsel parents about setting limits for toddlers
  8. Understand that frustration, anger, and the fear and pain associated with minor injuries are etiologies for breath holding
  9. Design a therapeutic program for the management of breath holding and temper tantrums
  10. Recognize that head banging does not indicate a sensory deficit
  11. Distinguish between fears and phobias and develop a plan for treatment
  12. Differentiate aggressive behavior from normal variants
  13. Understand the influences of exposure to violence in the media, corporal punishment, and child maltreatment on aggressive behavior in children and adolescents
  14. Recognize the behavioral and functional characteristics of oppositional defiant or conduct disorder and the variations in presentation. Understand that these two conditions can occur in conjunction with ADHD or learning difficulties
  15. Review characteristics of appropriate discipline


  1. A patient in your clinic is breath holding two to three times per week.  Mother is concerned and asks what could be triggering this behavior? He also repetitively bangs his head on a soft rubber toy- mom wonders if she should be concerned?
  2. At a 3 year well check mother is concerned because her daughter will be starting preschool in the fall and still sucks her thumb. She is curious what to do, what problems can be caused with prolonged thumb sucking, and if this is normal?
  3. A 4 year old is afraid of large dogs and won’t go to the neighborhood park because of a large dog that lives across the street. Mother asks if she can do anything to help this fear. (she denies any history of trauma associated with a dog in the past)
  4. A 5 year old female has been found rubbing herself on toys in the bath tub. Mother wants to know if this is normal and what to do about it?
  5. At an 18 month check parents ask about appropriate discipline for their daughter. What suggestions do you have based on her age?
  6. A family recently transferred to your practice with a three year old daughter who throws a tantrum in the office when mom doesn’t allow her to keep her shoes on for her well check. Mother mentions she is struggling with how to deal with all her daughter’s tantrums. What advice do you give?
  7. An 8 year old male has lived in several foster homes over the past 2 years. His current foster parents are frustrated with his frequent aggressive behavior towards their cat and 5 year old biologic son. Parents would like to know what could be triggers for his aggressive personality.
  8. How can you differentiate between ODD and CD?

Reviewed 6/2017

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