Every child with emotional and behavioral disorders are different. There are a wide range of behaviors and emotional reactions that can accompany an emotional or behavioral disturbance (Adams, n.d.; Public Schools of North Carolina). Some degree of emotional disturbance and ‘naughty’ behavior can be expected of any child. This is especially true of children approaching their preteen or teenage years, when the struggle for independence confronts the structured system of the school. The difficulty is knowing where to draw the line between normal behavior and a disability (PACER, 2006).
The emotionally disturbed and behaviorally disordered child has a lower chance for success in life (Howard, 2009). This makes it especially important to get them the help that they need. The longer the problem goes on, the more difficult it will be to treat and the greater the impact will be on the child’s life. This makes it tempting to want to err on the side of caution. This attitude could cause more children to be labeled than is actually the case. This could mean the overmedication of children who do not need it. This could also place an additional burden on the special needs programs, causing funding and attention to be diverted from those that really need it.
The answer to the question of whether screening within the school would increase the number of diagnosed children looks the same, whether you are a school board member, or a principal. When one looks at the overall picture, they must make decisions that are best for the overall population. The classroom teacher is the one who would have a different perspective, because they are the ones who have to deal with the disruptive student and manage the classroom disturbances on a daily basis. Their emotional strain could easily sway the diagnosis and screening of the student. This is why an independent, professional diagnosis is necessary.
- Adams, M. (n.d.). Behavioral Disorder Symptoms and Effects. PsychGuides.com. Retrieved
from http://www.psychguides.com/guides/behavioral-disorder-symptoms-causes-and- effects/
- Howard, W. (2009). Exceptional Children: an Introduction to Special Education. Upper
Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
- Public Schools of North Carolina. (2015). ‘Screening and Evaluation for Serious Emotional
Disability.’ Department of Public Instruction. Retrieved from