Emotional and behavioral disorders

Some schools in the United States do not put into use systematic screening and identification methods for any emotional and behavioral disorder. They argue that the process would result into schools experiencing financial constraints since many children would be identified. This is not a valid claim in any case. In my own opinion, every school should practice the use of these methods in order to check for emotional and behavioral disorders. The people concerned, for example teachers, should be advocates for students. They should always strive to develop each learner despite their difficulties in learning. I would still feel the same even if I were a school board member or the principal. The fact that many more children would be identified should be seen as progress. Financial issues should not be an issue since the society or the government should be involved in this problem.

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1) What are the connotations associated with the terms “emotionally disturbed” and “behaviorally disordered”? Which do you think teachers perceive as having a better chance of success in class?

There are many names that refer to any deviant behavior; for example, emotionally handicapped, mentally ill, behaviorally disordered and many more. Those who are behaviorally disordered are considered to have a better chance of succeeding in class than the emotionally disturbed. These terms have adverse effects on the learner’s educational performance (Evans, 1989). Emotional and behavioral disorders are not lifelong conditions; this is unlike other educational disabilities.

There are two general patterns of disordered behavior; those who are aggressive and disruptive and those who are withdrawn, anxious and depressed. Any educational intervention is supposed to match the needs of students diagnosed with behavioral disorders.

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2) How do you distinguish disordered behavior from normal childhood roughhousing, pranks, tantrums, and/or moodiness?

Behavioral disorder can be distinguished from normal childhood pranks or moodiness; tantrums and moody behaviors do not last long enough. Children usually experience this for a remarkably shorter period as compared to disordered behavior. Disordered behavior takes a longer time. Individuals who are withdrawn or depressed always experience the condition most of their time; whether they are with their peers or not, whether in class or the fields. Tantrums may last a shorter period because the children usually aim at achieving something and become normal once they receive it.

3) Many of the assessment measures for identifying students with emotional and behavioral disabilities are subjective in nature. What power does this give to teachers and parents in determining this disability?

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Parents are increasingly becoming informed of behavioral and emotional disabilities. If they partner with the teachers, they will form an immensely powerful team to deal with these problems. They are the ones who are constantly in touch with the kids. The teachers are better placed in identifying any unlikely behavior in an individual. The parents also know their children better. Teachers are able to deal with certain non compliant behaviors by using consequence-based methods.

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