You are here

Services for Children with an Emotional Behavioral Disability

Supporting Neurodiverse Students

We are excited to announce a new statewide professional learning system entitled Supporting Neurodiverse Students. This learning system includes trainings to be held at each CESA across the state, as well as online discussion groups, book clubs and other website resources. This system is designed to support educators serving students with disability-related needs in the area of social and emotional learning. Specific topics include self-regulation, social communication, flexibility, resilience, sensory processing and executive functioning. This training is beneficial for all education professionals supporting students with autism, students with emotional behavioral disabilities, or other neurodiverse students, including those who may have a history of adversity or be experiencing mental health challenges. (Parents are also invited to attend at no cost.) Emphasis will be placed on Universal Design for Learning, inclusive practices, self-determination and self-advocacy, College and Career Ready IEP Five Step Process and CCR-IEP Five Beliefs enriched by evidence-based improvement strategies. Additional information including links to registration is available at

For the 2020-2021 school year the Supporting Neurodiverse Students Statewide Professional Learning System (SNS) has gone virtual.

Go to the Virtual Learning Tab to find FREE quick videos, interactive self-guided modules, and live virtual event registrations that will support your learning about disability-related needs that often occur for students with differences in social and emotional skill sets (e.g. students with autism, students with emotional behavioral disability, students with other disabilities that impact social and emotional learning competencies). See the SNS Learning Together Live Virtual Events and SNS Virtual Learning Opportunities 2020-2021 flyers for additional free events and learning opportunities.


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).