EBD: Emotional Behavioral Disorder

EBD: Emotional Behavioral
By: Paul “Matt” Chonka
For: EDSP 6644
Catherine Hawes, MA
An emotional and behavioral disorder is an
emotional disability characterized by the following:
(i) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory
interpersonal relationships with peers and/or teachers.
For preschool-age children, this would include other care
(ii) An inability to learn which cannot be adequately
explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors.
(iii) Consistent or chronic inappropriate type of behavior
or feelings under normal conditions.
(iv) Displayed pervasive mood of unhappiness or
(v) Displayed tendency to develop physical symptoms,
pains or unreasonable fears associated with personal or
school problems.
(National Association of Special Education Teachers, 2007)
Nearly 464,000 students 6–21 years
of age in the United States received
services for emotional or behavioral
disabilities in the 2006-2007 school
This was 0.9% of all students with
disabilities in U.S. schools
(U.S. Department of Education, 2009)
Misconceptions & Implications
Intelligence and achievement - Contrary to popular myth,
most children with emotional and behavioral disorders are
not bright, intellectually above-average children who are
simply bored with their surroundings.
Many children score in the slow learner or mildly mentally
retarded range on IQ tests
Two thirds could not pass competency exams for their grade
These children have the lowest grade point average of any
group of students with disabilities.
Forty-four percent failed one or more courses in their most
recent school year.
They have a higher absenteeism rate than any other disability
category (missing an average of 18 days of school per year).
Forty-eight percent drop out of high school, compared with 30%
of all students with disabilities and 24% of all high school
Over 50% are not employed within 2 years of exiting school.
(Enloe, 2009)
Behavioral Characteristics
Social skills and interpersonal relationships - Many
students with emotional and behavioral disorders
often experience great difficulty in making and
keeping friends.
Antisocial behavior - Out of seat, runs around the
room, disturbs peers, hits or fights, ignores the
teacher, complains excessively, steals, destroys
property, argues, distorts the truth, and so forth.
Withdrawn behavior - They retreat into day
dreaming, are fearful of things without reason,
frequently complain of being sick or hurt, and go
into deep bouts of depression.
Manifestations of behavior
1. Environmental conflicts: aggression and/or self-injurious
behavior such as fighting, bullying, violating rules,
overactive, impulsive, stealing, truancy, and other socially
maladjusted behaviors.
2. Personal disturbances: anxiety disorders such as crying and
statements of worry. The student may withdraw socially. In
addition, the student may exhibit excessive fear and anxiety.
3. Academic deficits in basic academic skills and educational
achievement. Typically, the student performs below expected
grade level.
4. Social deficits: students are unpopular and are actively
rejected by their peers.
5. Irresponsibility: irresponsibility is common. Students will deny
they did anything wrong and when confronted with evidence
blame other students.
Educational Considerations
Classroom Structure
Classroom Management
IEP requirements
Strategies and Interventions
Classroom Structure
Employ guided practice and well-organized
transitions from activity to activity.
Personalize Classroom Structure for High
Risk Students
Arrange a "check in" time to organize
Provide quiet spaces in classroom; low
stimulus areas for study and test taking.
Develop a "system" or code word to let
student know when behavior is not
Arrange for student to leave classroom
voluntarily and report to a designated
"safe place" when under high stress.
Classroom Management
Inform pupils of what is expected of them
Establish a positive learning climate
Provide a meaningful learning experience
Avoid threats
Demonstrate fairness
Build and exhibit self-confidence
Recognize positive student attributes
Time the recognition of student attributes
Use positive modeling
Structure the curriculum & classroom
IEP Requirements
The educational programs for children with
a behavioral or emotional disturbance need
to include attention to providing emotional
and behavioral support as well as helping
them to master academics, develop social
skills, and increase self-awareness, selfcontrol, and self-esteem.
For a child whose behavior impedes
learning (including the learning of others),
the team developing the child’s
Individualized Education Program (IEP)
needs to consider, if appropriate, strategies
to address that behavior, including positive
behavioral interventions, strategies, and
IEP Requirements
Students eligible for special education
services under the category of emotional
disturbance may have IEPs that include
psychological or counseling services.
Career education (both vocational and
academic) is also a major part of
secondary education and should be a part
of the transition plan included in every IEP.
There is growing recognition that families,
as well as their children, need support,
respite care, intensive case management,
and a collaborative, multi-agency approach
to services.
(Area Special Education Cooperative, 2009)
Strategies and Interventions
Determine what specific intervention strategy should
be employed. Identify the system necessary to
teach or reinforce the presence of alternative,
positive, behaviors. At a minimum, consider
strategies that:
increase student control and choices;
increase opportunities for positive attention;
increase student's status, self-esteem;
match teaching strategies to student strengths;
match expected responses and testing methods to
student strengths;
match physical arrangement and management of
classroom to student strengths;
increase the student's opportunities to acquire a sense of
belonging within her or his school or community;
expand and build upon natural supports (e.g.,
Strategies and Interventions
Determine responses in the event
challenging behavior is exhibited.
Ignore challenging behaviors and redirect
student back to desired activity
Provide feedback (i.e., verbal reprimand)
Redirect student
Revoke privileges
Have student make restitution
De-escalate situation
Protect people and property from harm.
(The Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders, 2003)
Assessment of Progress
List services that will be provided to
address the student's needs in relation to
the function of behaviors and the stated
Determine data collection methods and
frequency of data gathering to document
that the plan is being used and how
effective it is proving to be.
Establish criteria to evaluate whether the
plan should continue (i.e., is working) or
have major revisions (i.e., is not working).
Assessment of Progress
Response to Intervention involves
documenting a change in behavior or
learning as a result of intervention
High quality/scientifically based core classroom
School wide screening / early identification
Tiered research-based interventions aligned
with student needs
Problem solving teams
Data-based decision making
Progress monitoring /ongoing student
Parent/Family Involvement
(Richter, 2008)
Area Special Education Cooperative, . (2009). Ebd. Retrieved from
Enloe, S. (2009). Emotional behavioral disorders in class. Retrieved
from http://www.slc.sevier.org/emoclass.htm
National Association of School Psychologists. (2009). Nasp position
statement on students with emotional and behavioral disorders.
Retrieved from
National Association of Special Education Teachers. (2007). National
association of special education teachers: teachers teaching
exceptional children. Retrieved from
Richter, M. (2008, December 11). Sw-pbs and response to intervention:
making best use of our resources. Retrieved from
0809.doc The Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders.
(2003). Ccbd. Retrieved from http://www.ccbd.net/
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics
(2009). Digest of Education Statistics, 2008 (NCES 2009-020),
Table 50.