Practice Notes

Emotional Disabilities

Practice Note:  Emotional Disorder does not equal Special Class

Often parents hesitate to allow the identification of their child as emotional disordered, because they fear that their child will be placed in an Emotionally Disordered class.  These classes are viewed as dead end classes for bad kids.  In reality many children with emotional disorders can function successfully in regular classes, with appropriate accommodations and services.

Practice Note:  Student’s with Emotional Disorders need Protection of IEP

If a student has a true emotional disorder it is essential that the child have the protections of an IEP.  Very often only proactive advocacy establishing appropriate IEP accommodations, a functional behavior assessment and a positive behavior support plan can protect the student against the punitive structure of school discipline.  Formal recognition of the emotional disability will assure that the student will have protection against expulsion.  It is generally far easier to establish the disability before a student encounters a serious discipline problem, than to try to obtain recognition of the disability when the school wants to punish the child.

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