Challenges of Teaching Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

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Challenges of Teaching Students with EBD, P. 1

Challenges of Teaching Students with EBD
By Paula Hill
Grand Canyon University SPE 558
Characteristics of Emotional Disabilities and Strategies to Teach Individuals with EBD Karen Moeller, Instructor
May 9, 2012

Challenges of Teaching Students with EBD, P. 2
Challenges of Teaching Students with EBD
There are many challenges presented to the education system in teaching students with EBD. Many of these challenges are related to the interpretation of the definition of EBD itself. This paper will address the many challenges of teaching students with EBD including a discussion of the definitions presented to the Federal government for adoption. EBD Definitions

The definition of EBD according to IDEA 2004 states that emotional disturbance includes at least one of certain characteristics over a period of time to the extent that it adversely affects educational ability. These characteristics are as follows: * The inability to learn that is not due to intellectual, sensory and physical factors. * The inability to establish and maintain positive interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers. * Abnormal or unrelated kinds of behavior or feelings in normal circumstances that do not warrant such behavior. * The presence of a general mood of unhappiness or depression. * The tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears from personal or school problems. IDEA regulations, 34C.F.R. 300.7(c)(4)) An exception to the IDEA definition does not include children who are socially maladjusted only. If there is evidence of emotional disturbance in children that are socially Challenges of Teaching Students with EBD, P. 3

maladjusted, they are included with those with EBD.
There were other education associations that disagreed with the IDEA definition of EBD. They are as follows along with their reasoning for the objections: The Mental Health and Special Education Coalition: This group advocated for changes to the federal definition to make it more functional and less stigmatizing. It added affected performance in the areas of vocational or personal skills, that responses to the environment be observed in two different settings and one setting is school related. In addition to the above general education interventions have proven unsuccessful includes a disability that co-exists with other disabilities. There was more clarification of the term that added specific disorders. They were schizophrenic disorder, affective disorder, or other sustained disorder of conduct of adjustment, affecting a child if the disorder affects educational performance as described in paragraph (1). (Federal Register, 1993, p. 7938)

The Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders drafted a new definition using the term emotional or behavioral disorder. That definition later adopted by the National Mental Health and Special Education Coalition, which is a group of 30 educational, mental health and child advocacy organizations (see previous section).The CCBD later submitted it to the U. S. Congress as a replacement for the IDEA replacement of serious disturbance.

Challenges of Teaching Students with EBD, P. 4
The CCBD definition mirrors the MHSCC definition. One important clarification that it makes is that it does not require distinctions between social and emotional maladjustment. Establishing this distinction often was a waste of diagnostic resources when social or emotional maladjustment issues were both serious problems. The National School Boards Association objected to the new definition proposal. This was based on fear that the proposal would bring about dramatic increases in students being identified for special education services for emotional disturbances. This would result in huge increases in costs accordingly to local school districts and states. There was support from special educators for the proposed...
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