Behavioral disabilities

Page history last edited by Lara Malpass 12 years, 9 months ago


Upon completion of this section, teachers will be able to:

1. Identify problems in their current classroom rules and how to improve them.

2. Create rules and structure in their classroom that allows students with behavioral disabilities to be successful.



Students who are considered emotionally disturbed typically have the worst outcomes out of any disability group.  In the U.S., they have higher drop out rates, have higher rates of incarceration, and low rates of employment (Hehir, 2005).  When a student is not reacting and behaving appropriately to discipline codes it is important to understand that the student is incapable of functioning within the current discipline structure and has a disability. It is important that the entire school and classroom has a clear behavior plan because behaviorally disabled students are not well served in chaotic and poorly disciplined schools and classrooms.   

It is important to teach students how to act in school.  This can be done by setting clear expectations at the beginning of the year and reward students by giving positive affirmations to correct behavior.


Activity (X min)

Have teachers list their current classroom rules.  Ask the following questions about their rules:

1.     Are they clear and concise?

2.     Do the rules give clear instructions about how to act?

3.     Would you write them up if they did the opposite?

4.     Is it something they are capable of exhibiting in observable terms? Does it show an action?

5.     Can you visualize what it looks like done well?


When developing a discipline plan use the following process:

1.     Create clear outcomes that you expect from the student as defined by the student, teacher, parents.

2.     Strongly supported consequences and affirmations.      

3.     A clear practice for achieving desired outcome.



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