Emotional and behavioural disorder is an emotional disability characterised by an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers. For preschool-age children, this would include other care givers. Rhode, Jenson and Davies (1999) describe children with emotional and behavioural problems as “tough kids”, perhaps no other label describes them so well. This category of kids may include children with schizophrenia, affective disorders, anxiety disorders or those who have other sustained disturbances of conduct, attention or adjustment (National Association of School Psychologists, 2000, p. 1) The current trend in public schools is to mainstream children diagnosed with E/BD into regular education classrooms as much as possible (Sutherland, 2000). This essay will look at how a teacher can identify learners with emotional and behavioural disorder in a classroom situation. As an educator one is able to identify a learner with emotional and behavioural disorder in a classroom if the learner is performing below grade level that is if a learner is not exhibiting intellectual abilities according to his/her level. Such learners have troubles in reading and also have trouble in writing words that are already written for them on the board, other learners have spelling difficulties and others are not able to solve math, they exhibit problems in either graphing or calculations. Emotional disabilities may be related to learning difficulties. For example a student who has severe anxiety will be spotted by the teacher as that learner is more often unable to attend class, listen and learn while in school. This category may include children or youth with schizophrenic disorders, affective disorders, anxiety disorder, or other sustained disorder of conduct or adjustment when they adversely affect educational performance in accordance with section (i) (as cited in Forness & Knitzer, 1992, p. 13.) Separation anxiety disorder is a condition in which there is developmentally inappropriate and extreme anxiety about separation from home, parents, or primary caregivers. This is the most common anxiety disorder in childhood. It can have such symptoms as school avoidance or phobia, sleep disturbance, and nightmares. This disorder commonly follows an acute life event such as the medical illness of the child or parent, the loss of a close family member, parental separation, or the birth of a new sibling. Most often, separation anxiety disorder lasts for a limited time and good return to normal function results from the use of simple behavioral measures and encouragement. Some students with anxiety tend to blackout when an exercise is given or even when they are given a test some may even opt to miss school because of the fear they have or even create stories to bail them out of school. Other learners lack social skills that are necessary for school success. For example learners are not able to ask the teacher on a lesson that they did not understand and are more passive when a group discussion is in session, such learners tend to isolate themselves because they fear to be laughed at or ridiculed by others. An educator is also able to spot learners by how they are able to articulate the language used in school, some of these learners have problems in both expressing ideas and in understanding what others are communicating. This tends to bring about miscommunication with fellow students and teachers eventually causing altercations that lead to violent outburst from the learner with emotional and behavioural disorder. These learners can also be identified as some of them lack strategies to be successful in school, such as memorization skills and attention and may also struggle with organization and time management (for memorisation and attention these learners would usually be forgetful and are usually absent minded in class, they are not organised in the sense that they are not able to organise work as it is...
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