A qualifying term under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that refers to an individual who exhibits chronic difficulties in the emotional and behavioral areas.
The term means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that 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 includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance. [34 CFR §300.7(c)(1)
Severe, pervasive or chronic emotional and or affective condition preventing a child from performing ordinary daily tasks. Emotional disturbances are sometimes displayed by children with an inability to build or maintain relationships, inappropriate behaviors or feelings, unhappiness or depression, or a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears related to personal or school problems. Other characteristics might include; sleep disturbances, impulsive eating and impulsive behaviors without consideration to consequences. Therapy is recommended during childhood and adolescence.