ERIC Number: ED308684
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Social Maladjustment: An Interpretation.
Center, David B.
The exclusionary term, "social maladjustment," the definition in Public Law 94-142 (the Education for All Handicapped Children Act) of serious emotional disturbance, has been an enigma for special education. This paper attempts to limit the interpretation of social maladjustment in order to counter effects of such decisions as "Honig vs. Doe" in the exclusion from special education of students with antisocial behavior problems. The paper recommends the inclusive use of the term "behavior disordered" rather than the medical term "emotionally disturbed" for those with educational handicaps in the affective, cognitive, functional, and social domains of behavior. It also proposes that the label "serious emotional disturbance" in the law was intended to be used inclusively and not restricted to disorders in the affective domain. A rationale is offered for defining the exclusionary term "social maladjustment" to mean only socialized aggression which represents an adjustive response to environmental circumstances. School personnel determining the presence of a qualifying handicap need only decide whether the student's behavior significantly and adversely affects his or her educational performance or that of classmates. The truly socially maladjusted student needs educational approaches which emphasize the development of specific skills and abilities. (DB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Education for All Handicapped Children Act