Emotional Behavioral Disability


Welcome! Behavioral services and supports are provided to eligible students in settings that range from the general education classroom to a special day school. Some of the behavioral services may include direct instruction for the development of social skills, an individual behavior management system based on a functional behavioral assessment, an altered bell schedule, or a daily home note.

A student with an emotional/behavior disability has persistent (is not sufficiently responsive to implemented evidence based interventions) and consistent (lasts longer than 6 months) emotional or behavioral responses that adversely affect performance in the educational environment that cannot be attributed to age, culture, gender, or ethnicity. These demonstrated behaviors may be internally or externally based. Internal factors are characterized by feelings of sadness, restlessness, or a loss of interest; students may demonstrate behaviors that result from thoughts and feelings that are inconsistent with actual events. Behaviors which are externally based may include an inability to build or maintain a relationship with adults or peers, or chronic and disruptive behaviors such as noncompliance, verbal and/or physical aggression, and/or poorly developed social skills that are manifestations of internal factors.

Prior to evaluation, eligibility, and/or placement decisions, schools must demonstrate that the 3-Tier Behavior Intervention Process has been implemented with fidelity and consistency. Students need to meet specific eligibility criteria to receive direct services from the Emotional Behavioral Disabilities Program.

Behavior Intervention Process

In 'Tier 1' of the Behavior Intervention Process, schools are encouraged to develop school-wide expectations for student behavior. Expectations such as "Do Your Best" and "Be Respectful" look very different depending on the setting (i.e. the hallway, the cafeteria, the classroom). These expectations should be directly taught to all students and they should address every setting. More time should be spent on recognizing/rewarding students who actually exhibit expected behaviors than is spent on devising punishments for those students who do not. Schools will know that their Tier 1 interventions are successful when 80% of the total student population demonstrate appropriate behavior. In addition, each classroom should have specific behavior management expectations clearly identified and taught. Expectations may include: "Remain in your area," "Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself," and "Follow teacher direction first time asked." Once expectations have been taught, they must be practiced and students should receive feedback on a regular basis. Finally, each teacher should directly teach his or her classroom routines and procedures (i.e. sharpening pencils, turning in homework, getting assistance). Ample time for students to practice should be provided regularly, and reinforcements must be available for those students who demonstrate acceptable, responsible behaviors. It is strongly recommended that rewards be socially based (i.e. teacher attention) rather than tangible items.

Once a school has ensured that at least 80% of their students are demonstrating expected behaviors, those students who are not experiencing success may benefit from additional interventions. In 'Tier 2' of the Behavior Intervention Process, teachers are encouraged to implement basic, evidence-based interventions to ensure that all students in a specific setting receive the necessary instruction that will increase the likelihood of success. If the evidence-based interventions are not effective, the school-based behavior support team should meet. The function of the school-based behavior support team is to partner with the parent/family to target a specific behavior that most interferes with the student's ability to benefit from instruction. The team is encouraged to use data to develop additional, more intensive, interventions using the Behavior Assessment Support Plan. For example, small groups with similar needs may be formed as a way to provide more intensive social skills instruction. As students begin to make progress, a method to recognize and reinforce should be developed. These Tier 2 interventions should reach an additional 10 - 15% of the school population.

For a small number of students (approximately 5% of the population) intensive, individualized interventions will be necessary. At 'Tier 3 of the Behavior Intervention Process' the school-based team uses data to develop specific strategies to address individual student needs. Examples may include, but not be limited to: behavior contracting, counseling services, daily reports with specific feedback regarding targeted behavior, frequent reinforcement schedules, and daily social skills instruction.

If the 3 Tiers of the Behavior Intervention Process are not successful for a specific student (based on collected data and graphical representation), the team may want to consider a psycho-educational evaluation. This evaluation can provide the team additional information to assist with the identification of additional services and supports that the student may require to be successful in the school setting.