Practice Areas

Approaching behavioral disorders in the classroom

According to EdSource, more than two out of every five American students who struggle with behavioral and/or emotional disorders do not graduate from high school. Within four years of leaving high school, almost three out of every five students with behavioral and/or emotional disorders have been arrested.

These statistics clearly illustrate a disturbing conclusion drawn by EdSource: Students who are given a diagnosis of “emotionally disturbed” have the lowest academic performance of all special education students, despite the fact that many do not have any cognitive defects.

If your child has been diagnosed with behavioral and/or emotional disorders and is eligible for special education in a public school system, he or she is entitled to have an individualized education program (IEP) specifically crafted with his or her unique needs in mind. These plans are meant to be designed in such a way that the special needs student is given a truly fair shot at success. If your student is struggling mightily at school, it may be that he or she is either in need of an IEP or your child’s current IEP is inadequate.

Whether your child has cognitive deficits or not, if he or she is entitled to special education, graduation should be within your child’s reach unless circumstances outside the law’s protections are influencing the situation. Please, if you have questions about your child’s special educational needs and honoring his or her right to an adequate education, please contact an attorney experienced in matters of special education law.

Source: EdSource, “New ‘trauma-informed’ approach to behavioral disorders in special education,” Jane Meredith Adams, Feb. 3, 2014

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