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Services for Children with an Emotional Behavioral Disability


The term "emotional disturbance" (ED) was changed to "emotional behavioral disability" (EBD) effective July 1, 2001. In order for a student to be identified as EBD there are 4 key concepts to be addressed: (1) the student exhibits social, emotional or behavioral functioning that so departs from generally accepted, age appropriate ethnic or cultural norms that it adversely affects a child's academic progress, social relationships, personal adjustment, classroom adjustment, self-care or vocational skills; (2) the behaviors are severe, chronic, and frequent, occur at school and at least 1 other setting, and the student exhibits at least 1 of 8 characteristics or patterns of behavior indicative of EBD; (3) the IEP team used a variety of sources of information including observations and has reviewed prior, documented interventions; and, (4) the IEP team did not identify or refuse to identify a student as EBD solely on the basis of another disability, social maladjustment, adjudicated delinquency, dropout, chemically dependency, cultural deprivation, familial instability, suspected child abuse, socioeconomic circumstances, or medical or psychiatric diagnostic statements. The complete text of the eligibility criteria for EBD can be found in s. PI 11.36 (7).

EBD Criteria Evaluation Guide - Updated(07/10).
eligibility criteria checklist - Word Fillable - Spanish Fillable


A continuum of educational placements is necessary to appropriately serve students who are EBD. Some students who are EBD are appropriately served in regular education classrooms with supplementary aids and services, while others may require self-contained or pullout programming for all or part of their school day. There is an increased emphasis on developing positive behavior intervention plans (BIPs) as part of the IEP when the student's behavior impacts his/her learning or that of others. This requirement clearly applies to all students who are EBD. The emphasis is on positive interventions and strategies to address the behaviors of concern, and the plan should be based on the most recent evaluation results including information from a functional behavioral assessment (FBA).

Based on the December 1, 2004, child count, there were 16,431 students (ages 3-21) identified as having a primary disability of EBD. This was a slight increase from the previous year. The prevalence rate (unduplicated count divided by total enrollment in public and private schools) of EBD in Wisconsin is 1.6%.


For questions about this information, contact (608) 266-1781