ERIC Number: ED201135
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Dec
An Analysis of State Definitions of Severely Emotionally Disturbed.
Mack, Jean Harris
The paper provides an analysis of state definitions and eligibility criteria for special educational services for emotionally disturbed children. Policy definitions were researched in state statutes, regulations, and annual program plans. State definitions were compared with the definition in P.L. 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. Data are presented in tabular and narrative form for the following categories: consistency of state definition with P.L. 94-142 equivalent terms in the various states, and inclusion/exclusion of autism and socially maladjusted. Among findings reported are the noncategorical approach of Massachusetts, consistency of only 35 states with federal definition requirements that emotional disturbance characteristics be exhibited "over a long period of time and to a marked degree," consistency of only 40 states with the federal definition requirement specifying that the child's condition must adversely affect educational performance, inclusion of autism or schizophrenia in the definition by only 10 states, and no mention of socially maladjusted children by over two thirds of the states although the federal definition specifically excludes them. Issues for further research (such as the impact of the qualifier "seriously" on the identification of emotionally disturbed children) are identified. It is concluded that there are many gaps between state policy definitions and the P.L. 94-142 definition. Appended are the references for the state definitions. (DB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Special Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Council for Exceptional Children, Reston, VA. Policy Research Center.
Note: A part of the Policy Options Project.