Students with Severe Behavioral Disorders

 Based on IDEA, both emotional and behavioral disorders fall under both Emotional Disturbances. 


This is defined by law as a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over  a long period of into a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s emotional performance  

  • The inability to learn that can not be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors.
  • The inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers or teachers.

Center for Effective Collaboration & Practice 

  • This website's function is to facilitate the production, exchange and use of knowledge about effective practices for students with emotional and behavioral disorders.

General Strategies for Classroom Management/Discipline

  • Use time-out sessions to cool off disruptive behavior and as a break if the student needs one for a disability-related reason.
  •  Administer consequences immediately, then monitor proper behavior frequently
  • Validate good behavior with positive feedback.
  • Expose students with behavioral disorders to other students who demonstrate the appropriate behaviors.
  • Enforce classroom rules consistently.
  • Make sure the discipline fits the "crime," without harshness.
  • Logical consequences.
  • Provide encouragement.
  • Reward more than you punish, in order to build self-esteem.
  • Praise immediately at all good behavior and performance.
  • As a teacher, you should be patient, sensitive, a good listener, fair and consistent in your treatment of students with behavioral disorders
  • Monitor the student's self-esteem. Assist in modification, as needed.
  • Self-esteem and interpersonal skills are especially essential for all students with emotional disorders.
  • Do not expect students with behavioral disorders to have immediate success; work for improvement on a overall basis.
  • Provide a carefully structured learning environment with regard to physical features of the room, scheduling, routines, and rules of conduct.
  • If unstructured activities must occur, you must clearly distinguish them from structured activities in terms of time, place, and expectations.
  • Let your students know the expectations you have, the objectives that have been established for the activity, and the help you will give them in achieving objectives.
  • Monitor the student carefully to ensure that students without disabilities do not dominate the activity or detract in any way from the successful performance of the student with the behavioral disorder.
  • Teachers should reward students for good behavior and withhold reinforcement for inappropriate behavior.
  • Some aggressive students act as they do because of a subconscious desire for attention, and it is possible to modify their behavior by giving them recognition.
  • Instructions should be simple and very structured.
  • Show confidence in the students ability and set goals that realistically can be achieved.
  • Plan for successful participation in the activities by the students. Success is extremely important to them.
  • Expose students with behavioral disorders to other students who demonstrate the appropriate behaviors.
  • DIRECT INSTRUCTION is often required to help students master them.

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