- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Feb 09 2017
What Is Emotional Disturbance??
Emotional, behavioral or mental disorders are currently categorized as emotional disturbance. This NICHCY fact sheet for parents and teachers describes the definition, incidence rates, characteristics, and educational implications of emotional disturbance.
A brief bibliography and list of organizations is included. IDEA defines emotional disturbance as follows:
…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:
A. An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
B. An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
C. Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
D. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
E. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems."
As defined by IDEA, emotional disturbance includes schizophrenia but does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance.
No one knows the actual cause or causes of emotional disturbance, although several factors—heredity, brain disorder, diet, stress, and family functioning—have been suggested and vigorously researched. A great deal of research goes on every day, but to date, researchers have not found that any of these factors are the direct cause of behavioral or emotional problems.
According to NAMI, mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion, or income. Further:
Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.
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