When it comes to mental health, “Emotional and Behavioral Disorder” is an umbrella term that encompasses several separate diagnoses (including Anxiety Disorder, Manic-Depressive Disorder, Oppositional-Defiant Disorder, and others).
These diseases are also referred to as “emotional disturbance” and “emotionally challenged,” among other terms. By the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), children who suffer from emotional and behavioral problems demonstrate one or more of the following five traits:
- A failure to learn that cannot be explained by characteristics such as intelligence, sensory perception, or health.
- A failure to establish or sustain appropriate interpersonal interactions with classmates and instructors, among other things.
- Under regular situations, inappropriate forms of conduct or sentiments are displayed.
- It is characterized by a widespread state of sadness or despair.
- When dealing with personal or school issues, there is a proclivity to have bodily symptoms or concerns.
IDEA ensures that all children receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment feasible. As a result, individuals with emotional disorders (ED) are frequently enrolled in general education classes. Severe instances, on the other hand, may need teaching kids in special education “cluster units,” self-contained programs, or even different schools.
There are two types of emotional and behavioral disorders that fall under the umbrella category of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders: Psychiatric Disorders and Behavioral Disabilities.
This topic covers a wide range of ailments. Mental, behavioral, or perceptual patterns or abnormalities that hinder everyday functioning and create discomfort are classified as psychiatric illnesses. The following are some of the most prevalent diagnoses:
- Anxiety Disorder is a mental illness that affects people.
- Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness that affects people in (aka Manic-Depressive Disorder)
- Anorexia Nervosa (such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorder)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a kind of obsessive-compel
- Psychotic Illness
Psychiatric problems offer a significant difficulty for teachers for a variety of reasons. For starters, schools are not hospitals, and instructors cannot be expected to “treat” mental illnesses. Students who face these kinds of difficulties are frequently treated and may be prescribed medication.
Medication has the potential to influence people in unanticipated ways, and teachers may be ignorant of why kids are acting the way they are since medical information is kept private. It’s tough to respond correctly to some actions as a result of this.
Furthermore, kids with these problems may find it difficult to satisfy academic and behavioral requirements. In such circumstances, pupils will need special education services and may need to be placed in a special education classroom.
Children with behavioral disorders engage in behaviors that disrupt classroom functioning and/or endanger themselves and others. The behaviors must not be caused by one of the mental diseases listed above to be identified as a behavioral impairment.
Oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder are the two types of behavioral disability.
Extreme non-compliance, negativity, and a refusal to collaborate or follow orders are all symptoms of the oppositional defiant disorder. This disease does not make children violent or aggressive; rather, it causes them to refuse to collaborate with adults or peers.
Conduct disorder is a considerably more serious condition. Aggression, violence, and injury to oneself and others are characteristics of this condition. Students with conduct disorder are usually taught in special education classrooms until their behavior improves to the point that they can interact with the general education community.
Teaching Strategies for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities
Kids with emotional and behavioral issues, like students with other illnesses, require a positive, regulated atmosphere that encourages growth, builds self-esteem, and promotes desired conduct.
Routines and Rules
Rules must be created at the start of the school year and expressed in a straightforward and accessible manner. Rules should be written in a positive tone: “Respect yourself and others,” rather than “Don’t injure anybody,” is a better rule. Keep it simple: no more than six rules.
Breaking rules should also have consequences, which should be defined at the start of the school year and implemented consistently and sternly whenever the rules are broken. Consistent and predictable outcomes are required. Provide calm, concise feedback to the learner while applying punishments.
The learner will comprehend why the consequence is required in this way. When regulations are broken, try not to become emotionally upset. Emotional reaction draws unfavorable attention to the learner, which many youngsters like. Maintain a cool and distant demeanor while remaining firm and compassionate. It’s a difficult balance to strike, but it’s critical for beneficial outcomes.
Routines are critical for effective classroom management. Transitions and sudden change are difficult for students with emotional and behavioral issues. Going over a visual calendar of the day’s events is a good method to get the students’ attention and make them feel more grounded.
Supporting Positive Behavior Techniques
Because their conduct is too maladaptive for a general education classroom, students with emotional and behavioral disorders frequently require special education training. Here are some suggestions for guiding and supporting growth in the direction of more positive, adaptable behavior:
- The Economy of Tokens Every instance of positive conduct earns students points or tokens. These tokens can then be redeemed at the token shop for prizes. Positive conduct must be continuously rewarded, and things in the token shop must be motivating for the learner, for a token economy to be effective. This requires some planning and organization, but it has shown to be highly beneficial.
- Behavior Chart in the Classroom– A graph that depicts each student’s degree of conduct in the classroom. Students who are acting favorably go up the chart, while those who are behaving adversely move down.
This holds each student accountable and allows you to track and praise their success. This won’t work if the most challenging students are always at the bottom of the list. Keep them motivated by focusing on the good to the greatest extent feasible.
- System of Lotteries – Students who behave well are given a ticket with their name on it, similar to the token economy. These tickets are placed in a jar, and one is drawn once or twice a week. The lottery winner gets awarded a prize.
- Positive Peer Review – Students are instructed to observe and recognize positive conduct in their peers. The student who is acting positively, as well as the student who is identifying, are both rewarded. This is the polar opposite of “tattle-telling,” and it promotes classroom collaboration and social support.
It might be difficult to teach youngsters with emotional and behavioral issues. Remember that encouraging and rewarding positive conduct is far more successful than striving to remove unpleasant behavior.
Punishment and negative consequences can result in power battles, exacerbating the issue behaviors. It’s difficult to be optimistic when confronted with such emotionally draining activities, but don’t lose up.
Your influence might make a huge impact on the lives of these youngsters who are dealing with a life-threatening illness.