By the end of this presentation the class will be able to:
Explain that an unclear definition can influence how we identify and support students with emotional disorders.
Identify academic and social characteristics of these students.
Describe the causes of emotional disorders.
Identify strategies for improving learning outcomes for these students.
List strategies for improving post secondary outcome for these students.
DEFINITION OF EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE
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)]
Challenges the Emotional Disorders Present
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.
They continue to struggle when they leave school.
Children with the most serious ED may exhibit:
Bizarre motor acts
Abnormal mood swings
Their behavior signals that they are not coping with their environment or peers.
Agression/self – injurious behavior
The causes of ED have not been adequately determined.
Various factors such as heredity, brain disorder, diet, and family functioning.
Research has not shown any of these factors to be the direct cause of behavior problems.
Response to Intervention
Curriculum Based Measurement (CBM)
Guidelines for class with students with ED :
Display appropriate authority.
Explain class goals on 1 st day and routine to be followed.
Discuss goals often with each student, develop a contract what student must do to achieve goal, relate goals to the group goals.
Keep simple class rules, set as few as possible to obtain order.
Clearly explain consequences of not following the rules, or regulations and the rewards for following them as well.
Allow students to be involved in the consequence process, post in the room or allow them to take part in making them.
Demonstrate consistency in enforcing rules and providing feedback.
Help decrease anger, depression, and disruptive behaviors.
Exercise should be:
Perceived as pleasant
Aerobic or as close as the individual can handle
Non – threatening
Used two or three times or as individual sees fit.
Ideally, structure the environment that provides the student with the greatest opportunity for success.
Tips for Teachers Who Have Students with Emotional Disturbance
Get to know your student
Develop classroom rules
Watch out for triggers
Lean on your team
Assistive Technology for the ED Students
A New Model for the ED Classroom
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.