Emotional Disturbance

Framework (What’s Required):

  • Emotional Disturbance 300.8(c)(4), 89.1040(c)(4), 1401(3)(A) means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance:

    • An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
    • An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
    • Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
    • A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
    • A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

    Note: 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.

Persons Responsible:

    • A student having or is suspected of having an emotional disturbance can be referred for a special education evaluation by the parent or school personnel. All parent requests and school referrals are facilitated by the campus Intervention Assistance Teams (IAT).
    • Assessment for the condition of autism is conducted by the campus LSSP.


  • A written report of an initial evaluation must be completed not later than the 45th school day following the date on which the local educational agency receives written consent for the evaluation from the child's parent.

Methods (What We Do):

  • What are the service options for students with an emotional disturbance?

    • general education classroom with consultative support from a behavior specialist, if needed
    • general education classroom with direct instructional services from a special education teacher
    • a combination of general education and self-contained special education classes with consultative and/or direct instructional services
    • self-contained special education classroom with direct instructional services

    How are services determined?

    • determined by the ARD/IEP Committee
    • based upon individual needs of student
    • may include related services as determined by the ARD/IEP Committee
    • includes technology support

    What type of training is needed to work with students with an emotional disturbance?

    • specially designed instruction
    • accommodations and modifications
    • technology supports including communication systems
    • social skills instruction
    • positive behavior support strategies
    • principles of structured teaching
    • data collection methods and tools
    • student work systems
    • behavior management principles