Psychiatric Problems

Another common reason for students to be placed in classrooms led by teachers with special education degrees is psychiatric problems. Also sometimes labeled as having emotional and behavioral disturbances, students with psychiatric issues have been diagnosed with such conditions as schizophrenia (an inability to differentiate between reality and not reality, among other abnormal emotional and social behaviors) and bipolar disorder (having dramatic mood swings between high and sometimes irritable to low and depressed, with periods of normal moods in between). Other psychiatric conditions that sometimes lead to placement in special education classrooms include anxiety disorders, eating disorders, conduct disorders (like being overly aggressive towards people or animals, lying compulsively, and/or destroying property), and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Students with psychiatric issues can display the symptoms of their disorders such as distorted thinking, excessive anxiety, abnormal mood swings, hyperactivity, aggression, withdrawal, immaturity, and/or self-injurious behavior. They often have problems building relationships with teachers and peers, and sometimes act inappropriately under normal conditions. Such students tend to be unhappy and depressed as well. Depending on the severity of the condition, many students in treatment for such conditions are placed in general education classrooms, though sometimes with support. For other students with psychiatric problems, being placed, at least temporarily, in special education classrooms, special schools, or even institutional programs might be more appropriate.

Last Updated: 05/07/2014


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