Students who have social and emotional difficulties such as tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears, pervasive mood of unhappiness, unsatisfactory interpersonal relationships, inappropriate behaviors or feelings under normal circumstances or episodes of psychosis over a long period of time and to a marked degree that interfere with the student’s ability to learn may be considered for an emotional disability. An education evaluation will include assessment of academic achievement, emotional and behavioral functioning, social and developmental history, functional behavioral assessment, available medical, mental health information and other assessments to rule out cognitive, sensory or health factors and any other assessments necessary to determine eligibility or services. Programming may include daily social skills instruction, positive behavioral support, individual behavioral plans and academic instruction. Students may focus on improving self awareness, self esteem, controlling emotions and appropriately relating to others. Services may include consultation to the general education classroom, direct services from resource room and/or educational counseling. Related services, accommodations and modifications may be provided to support the student’s needs as determined appropriate in the IEP.
Alternative school programs and self-contained programs are for students who have been unsuccessful with resource room services. These intensive programs focus on social skills instruction that is integrated throughout the day and intensive behavioral modification program based on a mainstreaming level system. Some behavioral programs may be located outside the student’s home school. The goal of these intensive programs is diagnostic and short term to identify and remediate the social/emotional skill deficit to allow the student to return to home school.