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Many terms are used to describe emotional, behavioral or mental disorders. Currently, students with such disorders are categorized as having a serious emotional disturbance, which is defined under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Public Law 101-476, as follows:
Emotional disturbance is defined as follows:
The term means 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. (ii) The term includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance.
[Code of Federal Regulations, Title 34, Section 300.7(c)(4)]
Although students with ED are among the most difficult ones to teach, it is imperative that all teachers understand not only the characteristics of these students but also how to meet their educational, social, and behavioral needs.
Students with ED tend to develop anti-social behavior patterns, fail school, and commit delinquent acts before intervening.
These students experience less positive outcomes while in school than other students with and without disabilities.
TIF-funded AISD / Knowbility program sought new methods to reverse the trends. This program had six major components.
Equip 15 self-contained classrooms for students with emotional and behavioral disorders with the computer infrastructure necessary to allow individualized instruction for students on a computer-based curriculum, aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
Each student was provided with a computer workstation. Each classroom obtained an LCD projector, a digital camera, a scanner and a printer.
http://www.knowbility.org/research (Located at Austin, Texas)
Technology Aided Strategies for students who are Emotionally Disturbed
It is definitely a challenge working with students who have an emotional disorder. But educators can have success with children who have emotional disturbances if they get support from co-workers and consistently implement behavioral strategies and classroom management techniques.