Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) is a broad category which is used commonly in educational settings, to group a range of more specific perceived difficulties of children and adolescents. Both general definitions as well as concrete diagnosis of EBD may be controversial as the observed behavior may depend on many factors.

The 5 models that are used in EBD are:
    Biophysical
    Psychodynamic
    Cognitive
    Behavioral
    Ecological

U.S.A. Federal Definition

A child exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics to a marked degree for a long duration of time that adversely affects their education:

1. Difficulty to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.

2. Difficulty to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.

3. Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.

4. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.

5. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

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 Regulation, Title 34, Section 300.7 (c) (4) (ii)

Internalizing disorders
A child who internalizes their emotions is said to be suffering from Depression, and experience loss of interest in activities including school work.

This goes with one part of the EBD federal definition; a general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.

Children who internalize can also suffer from Anxiety, Separation Anxiety, Fears and Phobias (especially in school), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Panic Disorder.

Teachers of these children are asked to:
- monitor medications for side effects and behavioral fluctuations.
- assist with behavioral treatments in the classroom.
- reinforce cognitive behavioral interventions related to classroom.

Externalizing disorders
Words and phrases that are commonly used with children who externalize are extroverted, under-controlled, and acting out.

Externalizing Disorders includes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Conduct Disorder.

These children act out their emotions instead of holding them in. Fighting, bullying, cursing, and other forms of violence are often seen in children who externalize.

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