Emotional Disturbance

IDEA definition:
Emotional disturbance means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child's educational performance:

(A) An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.

(B) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.

(C) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.

(D) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.

(E) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

The term “emotional disturbance” includes schizophrenia. It does not apply to students who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance.

In Montana: The percentage of Montana students ages 6-21 considered to be impaired by emotional disturbances in 2011 was .53%. 

Nationally: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS') 1999 report,Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, estimates that at least one in five (20%) children and adolescents has a mental health disorder at some point in their life from childhood to adolescence.


Anxiety Disorders Association of America

Eating Disorders at School: Spotting the Signs and Getting Help- Community for Accredited Online Schools

Emotional Disturbance (Parent Center Hub)- Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR)

Visit the Montana Office of Public Instruction Special Education page for more Montana specific school resources.    

National Eating Disorders Association- NEDA supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports- The PBIS Center provides research-based information on how to provide behavioral supports to children who need them.