Emotional and Behavioral Disorders in the Classroom

Create a Brighter Future for Students Struggling with EBDs

As a teacher, you know how important the classroom is for your k-12 children to learn and achieve — but for students with emotional and behavioral disorders, or EBDs, managing their behavior and focusing on work can be a difficult task. Acting as a general term for any number of disorders that typically affect a child’s behavior, EBDs are often first observed by educators, which is why it’s vital that you’re not only trained to recognize these issues, but that you’re prepared to take steps to address them.

At the University of Cincinnati Online, our Master of Education in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program will provide you with foundational knowledge in applied behavior analysis, education, and psychology so you can help improve the lives of individuals diagnosed with behavior and learning challenges.

What is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act?

If you’re looking to get special education services for one of your students, you must follow a legal process — the most important law for this process is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which makes available a free public education to eligible children with disabilities, ensuring special education and related services to those children. Students may meet eligibility by presenting one of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a degree that significantly impacts their educational performance:

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

What is the Prevalence of EBDs in the Classroom?

Mental health is an important part of children’s overall well-being, affecting how they handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. In the U.S., emotional and behavioral disorders are the fourth largest disability category under IDEA, with the parents of nearly 8.3 million children reported to have talked with a health care provider or school staff about their child’s emotional or behavioral difficulties, and 2.9 million of these children being prescribed medication for their difficulties.

What Can I Do to Help?

When students with behavioral challenges are left undetected in the classroom or at home, they are often left irritated, frustrated, and withdrawn. And while EBDs can be difficult to navigate for you as a teacher, there are ways to help all your students feel welcomed and ready to learn.

Here at UC Online, our ABA program will train you to guide and teach individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, cognitive impairment, anxiety, mood disorders, eating and feeding disorders, and substance abuse — all while learning to increase student accuracy on academic tasks, regulate children’s behavior at home, and increase work productivity. Examples of effective strategies available for behavioral management in the classroom include:

  • Don’t ignore the signs: Teachers are often the first to suspect an undiagnosed EBD and the sooner the children can receive help, the sooner they can improve.
  • Remembering these students are children: Children with emotional and behavioral disorders are not scary or “time bombs” — they need support. Do not permit bullying, teasing, demeaning, or exclusion of the student by other students or by the system.
  • Providing accommodations: Follow the accommodations in the student’s IEP.
  • Joining the student’s individualized education team: Help shape the special education program and ensure it includes appropriate accommodations for the student’s needs.
  • Setting clear behavioral rules and expectations for the entire class: A classroom management plan is recommended to provide structure, understand consequences, and develop a shared approach to appropriate behavior.
  • Learning about the individual student: Two students with the same EBD will still learn differently. You will need to learn about each student’s strengths and challenges.
  • Advocating for your needs: Teachers can also advocate for resources and support for themselves to better aid the student. One-third of new special education teachers leave the profession after only three years, which is largely attributed to a lack of support from administration.

Help Students Live Up to Their True Potential

With the move toward greater inclusion in the general education curriculum, there’s an increased need for general education teachers to be well-informed about how to effectively educate students with EBDs: when this need is addressed, your students can enjoy a more complete scholastic experience, interacting with their peers and learning what they need to pursue their futures.

By earning your Master of Education in Foundations in Behavior Analysis, you’ll be prepared to support and increase the level of independent functioning of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Take the first step in providing more complete support for your students by beginning your application today.

birds eye view of students working at a round table with laptops and study materials
Need additional student resources?
Already an online student? UC Online has additional tips and tricks to ensure you are on the path to success. Check out our Student Resources section for what you need to maximize your learning.
Corporate Taxation professionals having a meeting
Helping You Build a Better Business Through Continuing Education
Employee recruitment and retention is crucial for the growth and profitability of an organization and should be a high priority for every business. At the University of Cincinnati Online, we want to help develop and retain your employees through our Business Partnership offering.

Sign up for updates from UC Online

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.