Challenges of Teaching Students with EBD
Grand Canyon University: SPE 553
February 6, 2013
Fifty years ago, students with emotional behavioral disabilities could be housed in an institution with no hope of education. Twenty years ago, it was acceptable for schools to isolate these same students in the school away from the general population. Today, students with emotional behavioral disabilities have increased interaction with general education students in a more normalized environment. But with all that change the challenge of teaching students with emotional behavioral disorders remains with the ambiguous, confusing and conflicting definition of what emotional behavioral disabilities are. IDEA recognized Emotional Behavioral Disorder as an Emotional Disturbance. The American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) are classified under the umbrella of emotional disorders. In this classification disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Selective Mutism, Adjustment Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Attention Deficit/Hyper activity Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa, Major Depressive Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder Autistic Disorder, Schizophrenia and Anorexia Nervosa are also included. But, Seriously Emotionally Disturbed (SED) is referenced but is not considered a medical diagnosis, SED is however used synonymously with Emotional Behavioral Disorder as a label for schools to provide special education services. In other words, the Psychiatrists recognize it as a disorder, but have not yet defined it as a medical condition. Even today, doctors are treating it and do not even have a medical diagnosis code to align it with. According to Dr. Feldman a major revision will be released in 2013 which may provide a definition of emotional behavioral disorders. Moreover the National School Boards Association (NSBA) objected and blocked a definition as a revision to IDEA, out of concern that the definition would cause an increase of students identified for services with emotional disturbances and it would cause local districts to have a negative financial impact.(Yell 2009) The conversation needs to focus on how the students who exist today are being underserved and possibly underrepresented. (Kauffman & Landrum, 2009) According to IDEA defines emotional disturbance as follows: “…a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance: (A) An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors. (B) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers. (C) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances. (D) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
(E) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.” As defined by IDEA, emotional disturbance includes schizophrenia but does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance.” (Yell 2009) As can be seen both the U.S. government, National School boards Association and the American Psychiatric Association need to determine a conclusive definition of emotional behavioral disorders that is synonymous with its characteristics. From the definitions, no one is wrong, but there are significant points that are lacking toward a definition that can be adopted by all including the violent and or antisocial behavior that is prevalent in individuals with emotional behavioral disorders. Sweeping changes in the definition must be completed for effective policy for transitional services and early...