Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

Emotional disturbances are conditions that are greatly affecting a child's educational performance over a long period of time.

These disorders can include:

  • psychotic disorders
  • anxiety disorders
  • bipolar disorder (sometimes called manic-depression)
  • conduct disorders
  • eating disorders
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Autism

Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders are neurobehavioral disorders. Children may have trouble paying attention, staying on task, sitting still, be easily distracted, have trouble planning ahead, and have trouble focusing. Both disorders can lead to children being more prone to having the wiggles, but those with ADHD will usually struggle more. Students with ADD may simply seem withdrawn or lost in their own worlds.

Children with these disorders may become easily frustrated, or distressed in the classroom. They may have a hard time staying focused and have frequent mood swings. Students could exhibit inappropriate behavior or feelings about a circumstance. Some students will be medicated, others will not. We will have to find creative ways to keep students involved in the classroom.


  • Keep lessons creative, the more hands-on, the better
  • When it is necessary for students to concentrate, try playing soft music to help drown out unnecessary noise
  • Allow for movement as often as possible, take mini breaks and lead students in chair exercises or let them walk around the room a bit
  • Create a reward system to promote and reinforce positive behavior, as well as to keep students motivated
  • Keep classroom rules, as well as activities, clear and simple