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Assessment and identification of children with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) is complex and involves multiple techniques, levels, and participants. While…
Assessment and identification of children with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) is complex and involves multiple techniques, levels, and participants. While federal law sets the general parameters for identification in school settings, these criteria are vague and may lead to inconsistencies in selection and interpretation of assessment measures. Assessment practice across school settings is greatly influenced by clinical guidelines such as the DSM-IV, which more specifically defines emotional and behavioral disorders and highlights the issue of co-morbidity. Before a student is assessed for special education eligibility under the IDEIA category of emotional disturbance, screening techniques and pre-referral interventions are needed. Positive Behavioral Supports and Response to Intervention models provide empirically supported frameworks for establishing the need for formal psychological assessment. Collaboration among members of the multidisciplinary team, including parents, helps to ensure that identification and intervention efforts have ecological validity. Tests and techniques vary considerably, but developmental histories, interviews, observations across settings, and behavioral checklists and rating scales are recommended, along with cognitive and achievement testing. While problems exist in the reliability and validity of projective techniques, they continue to be used in school-based assessment for EBD. Multitrait, multisetting, and multimethod approaches are essential for culturally fair assessment and reduction of bias in identification and placement.
Recently, a national priority has been set to improve mental health services for children and families. It has been identified in epidemiological literature that in the…
Recently, a national priority has been set to improve mental health services for children and families. It has been identified in epidemiological literature that in the United States, an approximate 15% of youth meet diagnostic criteria for emotional or behavioral problems. Furthermore, less than one in every five children that present with such needs receive mental health services. Individual, family, and system barriers such as transportation, competing demands, and long waiting lists have negatively impacted access to mental health services. Therefore, the school system has become the “de facto” mental health system for children and adolescents, in part because of the significant time students spend at school. However, meeting the needs of students with behavioral or emotional problems within the school system poses its own challenges. Schools have reported being limited in their ability to deliver basic mental wellness to students due to the lack of available resources. Specifically, there is a shortage of school-employed mental health personnel and the ratio of student to mental health professional is two to three times larger than recommended. Expanded school mental health programs are partnered systems that utilize existing services and collaborate with community mental health (CMH) professionals at each level of the three-tiered system. This partnership enables CMH staff gain access to youth with emotional and behavioral problems, resulting in increased prevention and intervention services for students. Additionally, a coordinated effort such as student-transition services has an integral role of facilitating the process from the school system to postsecondary employment, training, and or additional education.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the difference in attaining and maintaining employment between transition age youth (ages 19–22) with emotional and behavioral…
The purpose of this paper is to examine the difference in attaining and maintaining employment between transition age youth (ages 19–22) with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBDs) completing and not completing vocational training.
A quantitative causal-comparative research design using existing data extracted from the National Longitudinal Transitional Study-2 (NLTS-2) via a restricted data use license issued by the National Center Special Education Research, Institution of Education Sciences, US Department of Education. One-way ANCOVA and multiple regression analysis with one independent variable and six control variables were used for the study.
The results showed there is a significant difference in employment status between transition age youth with EBDs completing vocational training as compared to non-completion of vocational training, controlling for gender, race, age, mental health services, academic achievement and prior work experience. Individuals who completed vocational training are more likely employed after two years, than those who had not completed vocational training.
The outcomes of the study showed that vocational training during the transitional period had a positive impact on outcomes such as employment status, participation in job skills programs and perceived preparedness for employment. These findings support the idea that vocational training during the secondary school period is an effective way to scaffold support for the transitional period. As a result, these findings justify the use of vocational training as part of the transitional preparation for students with emotional and behavioral disorders.
There are few challenges as daunting as achieving positive outcomes for students with emotional disabilities. A major obstacle is the generally poor quality of classroom…
There are few challenges as daunting as achieving positive outcomes for students with emotional disabilities. A major obstacle is the generally poor quality of classroom instruction. Too few general education teachers or special education teachers possess the knowledge and skills to adequately serve this population of learners. Various factors account for the inadequate level of teacher preparation, including licensure requirements that emphasize quantity over quality, the research-to-practice gap, a train-and-hope rather than a train-and-coach approach to teacher preparation, and the absence of an infrastructure to support sustained use of evidence-based practices. I discuss each of these factors and offer some recommendations for improving the quality of teacher preparation and, in turn, the potential for more positive student outcomes.
In the field of behavioral disabilities, systematic direct observation (SDO) has been an integral tool for describing and explaining relationships between student and…
In the field of behavioral disabilities, systematic direct observation (SDO) has been an integral tool for describing and explaining relationships between student and teacher behavior in authentic classroom settings. However, this method of measurement can be resource-intensive and presents a series of complex decisions for investigators. The purpose of this chapter is to review a series of critical decisions investigators must make when developing SDO protocols to address their research questions. After describing each decision point and its relevance to the measurement system, we identify trends and special considerations in the field of behavioral disabilities with respect to each decision. We organize content according to deciding what to measure, deciding how to measure it, and critical steps to prevent system breakdowns. Finally, we identify avenues for research to further the impact of SDO in the field of behavioral disabilities.
Students with and at-risk for emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) or behavioral difficulties have unique and heterogeneous needs that affect their academic, behavioral…
Students with and at-risk for emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) or behavioral difficulties have unique and heterogeneous needs that affect their academic, behavioral, and social skills. As such, many of these students are served in more restrictive settings (e.g., residential facilities) than their peers with other disabilities. However, there is little research to document the characteristics of students who are served outside of their neighborhood school. In this chapter, we describe a study of students with and at-risk for EBD served in a residential facility in the southeastern United States. Descriptive analyses of the behavioral, academic, and social characteristics of 18 students enrolled at the facility suggest that, on average, students scored above average for problem behaviors, below average on academic measures, and below average for social skills. Linear regression analyses suggest that age did not predict performance and that certain behavioral indices predicted student achievement on both academic and social skills measures. Limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) are one of the most underserved populations in today's schools (Kauffman, Mock, & Simpson, 2011). Many of these…
Students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) are one of the most underserved populations in today's schools (Kauffman, Mock, & Simpson, 2011). Many of these students also have additional disabilities in conjunction with an EBD identification, such as Learning Disabilities (LD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), among other psychiatric disorders (Henley, Ramsey, & Algozzine, 2009; Kauffman, 2005).
Because the identification of EBD examines behaviors that tend to be more subjective in nature than other disabilities and because these pervasive behaviors are manifested in a variety of forms, EBD is one of the most misidentified disability categories (Skiba, Poloni-Staudinger, Gallini, Simmons, & Feggins-Azziz, 2006). For students with EBD, the behavior(s) they exhibit contribute to learning difficulties in multiple academic and functional areas. This chapter provides in-depth information on the common characteristics and behavioral dimensions of this population. Additionally, the in-school performance and long-term outcomes of students with EBD are discussed.
The identification criteria, service provision, and prevalence rates of individuals with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) vary across state jurisdictions in the…
The identification criteria, service provision, and prevalence rates of individuals with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) vary across state jurisdictions in the United States despite being governed by the same general rules. Therefore, it is unlikely that nations with different histories, economic circumstances, and attitudes toward social norms will demonstrate similarity regarding identification and treatment of individuals with EBD. The fields of anthropology, sociology, and psychology provide conceptual frames for understanding how EBD might be considered across cultures. The present chapter reviews a number of these conceptual considerations. Although there is considerable evidence for variability across cultures, there is also evidence for a shared basis that appears to be part of human characteristics, regardless of culture. The chapter concludes by considering special education services in general as a subset of the education systems provided to all citizens in several nations with diverse cultures and economic situation.
Promoting the self-determination of youth and young adults with disabilities has become best practice in the field of special education. Such efforts have been shown to…
Promoting the self-determination of youth and young adults with disabilities has become best practice in the field of special education. Such efforts have been shown to positively impact student educational goal attainment, access to the general education curriculum, student involvement in educational and transition planning, and more positive postschool outcomes. This chapter discusses the self-determination construct, reviews the literature pertaining to what is known about promoting self-determination and goal attainment, and introduces assessments, evidence-based practices, and strategies for promoting student involvement.
In a multicase qualitative study, inclusive school leaders attempted to move their schools from the excessive use of suspension; they employed positive behavioral…
In a multicase qualitative study, inclusive school leaders attempted to move their schools from the excessive use of suspension; they employed positive behavioral intervention and support (PBIS) as an alternative they thought would be therapeutic rather than punitive. However, the PBIS system traded a disciplinary system of control for a medicalized system of restoring order. Unwanted behavior came to be defined as evidence of possible behavioral disability. Hence, the PBIS system exchanged one deficit identity of “disorderly” student for another of “disordered” student, subsuming other considerations of race, class, and gender identity. Following the study’s findings, this chapter proposes more liberatory practices for PBIS that interrupt dominant culture discourses of normal behavior and power, and hold promise for establishing justice, rather than simply reinstating order.