Emotional, Behavioral, and Physical Disabilities

Emotional disability is a condition in which a person experiences an inability to learn and show such characteristics that hinder his/her educational performance. (Bauer, 2000) There are quite a few types of emotional disabilities ranging from fear of school and personal problems, unhappiness and depression with all types of surroundings, inability to maintain relationship with peers, thoughts of loneliness, hold no confidence over oneself and helplessness to cope up with academics.

The capacity to behave appropriately according to the person’s age is lost in this condition and one tends to become aggressive for long periods of time showing symptoms of immaturity. A physical disability refers to such a disorder that hinders the mobility of an individual. It includes orthopedic, neuromuscular, cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders. A person having a physical disability may have to take aid from mechanical devices such as wheelchairs, crutches, cranes and even artificial limbs in order to attain mobility. Besides this the patient suffers from reduced eye-hand coordination and defected verbal communication.

There are mainly divided into five categories namely Neurological, Musculoskeletal, Visual, Auditory and Miscellaneous (diabetes, asthma, Crohn’s disease, etc. ) Behavioral disabilities are closely linked to emotional disabilities and are caused by similar symptoms. Severely emotionally disturbed is a condition in which the student faces both emotional and behavioral difficulties. It includes children with mood and anxiety disorders and hyperactivity or out of control behavior. Signs of complete frustration and low tolerance level are also found in several cases.

They seem to be unable to behave like a normal person of the same age and the sudden fluctuation of moods is frequently apparent. The behavior of the patient is chronic and long term and affects the child in all types of environment. Those who suffer from emotional and behavioral disabilities need to be privileged with certain services so that they can also study like other students. Students with these disabilities are provided with settings such as separate classrooms and institutions rather than regular classrooms or schools student outcomes.

These students are dealt in a very appropriate way with direct supervision of a teacher who guides the child constantly not allowing him to be distracted. In order to successfully educate children with emotional and behavioral problems total parental support and consent of the parents is necessary. Research suggests that if these students do not receive effective services before the age of eight years, these disabilities become permanent and would require constant support services.

Health impairment is such a disability due to which the student has limited strength or alertness and low mental capacity compared to children of the same age. This occurs as a result of chronic and acute health problems. In order to educate students with health impairments different meaningful activities in the school should be carried so that these children can learn practical skills for daily life. These include practical reading lessons, overnight trips, activities concerning the telephone and carrying out specified tasks such as shopping etc.

As a result, these increase the mental capacity of the students and enhance their working skills. Traumatic brain injury is caused by external physical blow to the brain in such a way that it in turn affects the functional performance of the brain and as a result leads to physical disability. The physical disability might include internal bleeding, loss of memory and reasoning and degeneration of problem solving capabilities. The more serious the traumatic brain injury the greater the difficulty to educate that child.

If Traumatic brain injury is mild then the child may be able to cope up with the increasing demands of the school curriculum however with time the physical disabilities that have occurred due to the traumatic brain injury become evident and the child faces difficulty in competing with the academics. (Moore, 1990) There are certain effective strategies which are used to imply on children who are severely emotionally disturbed. These strategies should be implied on a regular basis. Students should be provided with a structured routine with a visual clock so that they can keep track of time with their completion of work.

Students must be taught the consequences of disobeying and so that they can learn to put things in the correct way. Another aspect of this strategy is to make available a calm area where the student can relax and calm down, since emotionally disturbed children suffer from frequent mood outbursts. Students with brain injuries find it difficult to learn and record new information instead the information previously stored remains fresh and easier to recall. Students’ with brain injuries thus find it hard to repeat after the teacher and may face difficulty by concentrating or paying attention.

In order to counter these problems teachers must remove all kinds of distractions and disturbances so as to increase the concentration span of the student. Teachers should distribute the work to be done at different timing each as an individual small task since short goals are quicker to achieve. They should also reward children for completing the tasks and maintaining behavior during the class to build self-esteem in class. Lastly by setting a good example and by always keeping ones temper the teachers can successfully deal with students having head injuries. (Bauer, 2004)

There are certain aspects that a teacher must keep in mind while educating students with learning disabilities. She/he should never discourage, make any individual uncomfortable, speak with a high tone or even prioritize some students over other. As a result the other students in the class would hesitate to do the same and in turn would react properly with those who are disabled. The teacher should instruct students with objectives so that students can focus more efficiently. She should always keep in mind the students perspective and how things appear to them.

This step is essential since the students are always curious if the teaching course is fair, relevant and interesting. Teachers should always avoid putting up tricky questions with students and must be simple and direct in addressing them. (Abraham, 2002)


1. Bauer, Anne M. , H. Keefe, Charlotte, M. Shea, Thomas (2000). Students with Learning Disabilities or Emotional/Behavioral Disorders. Students with Learning Disabilities or Emotional/Behavioral Disorders, 2. Moore, Cory (1990). A Reader’s Guide for Parents of Children with Mental, Physical, or Emotional Disabilities.

A Reader’s Guide for Parents of Children with Mental, Physical, or Emotional Disabilities. 3. Bauer, Anne M. (2004). Activity and Learning Guide to accompany The Inclusive Classroom: Strategies for Effective Instruction. Activity and Learning Guide to accompany The Inclusive Classroom: Strategies for Effective Instruction. 4. Abraham, Charles, Gregory, Nicky, Wolf, Lisa and Pemberton, Richard, (2002). Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology. 5. J. Allen, Mary (n. d.)

Teaching Tips-Teaching: Non-Traditional Students. Retrieved August 22, 2008 from http://www. psychologicalscience. org/teaching/tips/tips_0900. cfm 6. Davis, Pauline, Florian, Lani (n. d. ) Teaching Strategies and Approaches for Pupils with Special Educational Needs: A Scoping Study; Research Report RR516. Retrieved August 22, 2008 from http://www. dcsf. gov. uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RR516. pdf 7. Operational Definitions of Disabilities and Eligibility Criteria: Basis for the Eligibility Committee Decisions. Retrieved August 22, 2008 from http://www. fcps. edu/. htm

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