Eastern Upper Peninsula intermediate school district guidelines for determining eligibility of emotional impairment april 2013



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Eastern Upper Peninsula INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICT

GUIDELINES FOR DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY OF EMOTIONAL IMPAIRMENT

April 2013


Introduction:
To be eligible for special education services a student must meet the criteria within the eligibility category set forth by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004). The ultimate goal of this guide is to align with IDEA and the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (2009). Another goal is to assure appropriate general education interventions are implemented and documented to support students who will be educated in the least restrictive environment. The information in this document is research based and reflects the collective knowledge and experience of many people. The purpose of these guidelines is to:


  • Promote consistent identification of students with an emotional impairment within the Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD.

  • Provide a link to federal regulations and state rules.

  • Provide practical tools and resources for evaluation teams.

  • Recommend required and appropriate evaluations for identifying a student with an emotional impairment.

It is the hope that this document will provide guidance, direction and clarification to those responsible for identifying students with an emotional impairment.



TABLE OF CONTENTS
Definition of Emotional Impairment
Determination of Emotional Impairment...................................................4
Definitions of Terms ...................................................................................5
Inability to Build or Maintain Satisfactory Interpersonal

Relationships within the School Environment ...........................................6
Inappropriate Types of Behaviors or Feelings under

Normal Circumstances ...............................................................................7
General Pervasive Mood of Unhappiness or Depression............................8
Tendency to Develop Physical Symptoms or Fears Associated

with Personal or School Problems .............................................................9
Exclusionary Factors
Factors to Consider ..................................................................................10


Social Maladjustment
Overview ..................................................................................................12

Evaluations
Overview ..................................................................................................14
Comprehensive Evaluations .....................................................................15

Appendix
What EI is VS. what EI is not………………………………………………………..18
EI Eligibility vs. ECDD Eligibility…………………………………………………….19
References
References................................................................................................20

Definition of Emotional Impairment
R340.1706 Determination of Emotional Impairment
(1) Emotional Impairment shall be determined through manifestation of behavioral problems primarily in the affective domain, over an extended period of time, which adversely affects the student’s education to the extent that the student cannot profit from regular learning experiences without special

education support. The problems result in behaviors manifested by one or more of the following characteristics:


§ Inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships within the school environment;

§ Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances;

§ General pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression;

§ Tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
(2) Emotional Impairment also includes persons who, in addition to the above characteristics, exhibit maladaptive behaviors related to schizophrenia or other similar disorders. The term Emotional Impairment does not include persons who are socially maladjusted unless it is determined that such persons have an Emotional Impairment.
(3) Emotional Impairment shall not include persons whose behaviors are primarily the result of intellectual, sensory or health factors.
(4) When evaluating a student suspected of having an Emotional Impairment, the multidisciplinary evaluation team report shall include documentation of all of the following:
a) The student’s performance in the educational setting and in other settings, such as adaptive behavior within the broader community.

b) The systematic observation of the behaviors of primary concern which interfere

with educational and social needs.

c) The intervention strategies used to improve the behaviors and the length of time the strategies were utilized.

d) Relevant medical information, if any.
A determination of impairment shall be based on data provided by a multidisciplinary evaluation team, which shall include a full and individual evaluation by both of the following:
§ A psychologist or psychiatrist

§ A school social worker
R340.1706 Definitions of Terms
Manifestation of behavioral problems primarily in the affective domain

The affective domain includes areas such as emotional stability and control, interaction and response to others, problem solving, ability to work with others, and self-control (anxiety, depression, low self-



esteem).


Over an extended period of time

This phrase means that the student has a history of Emotional Impairment (EI) symptoms or characteristics that have been exhibited for at least ninety calendar days. This time period allows for

potential resolution of situational trauma. It also provides an adequate time period for targeted general education interventions. However, the severity of certain EI symptoms and the danger they may pose for the student and/or others when they occur, may dictate that professional judgment take precedence over

this timeline. If the condition has been evident for less than three months, the multidisciplinary evaluation team must indicate a reasonable expectation that the behavioral problems will continue to exist without special education intervention.


Adversely affect the student’s education to the extent that the student can not profit from learning experiences without special education support

This phrase refers to those EI characteristics which interfere primarily with academic performance and/or

social functioning in the school setting to a marked degree. This relates to the frequency, duration or intensity of a student’s behavior in comparison to peers. The condition must be pervasive (continuing over time) and intense (overt, acute, observable). The adverse effect may be indicated by either reduced work production in the classroom or by lowered academic achievement. Private evaluations/Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-R) diagnoses do not by themselves qualify a student for an educational Emotional Impairment. Adversely affecting the student’s educational performance also takes into account the general education intervention strategies that have been attempted to improve behaviors and the length of time these strategies have been attempted.


R340.1706 (1)a Inability to Build or Maintain Satisfactory Interpersonal Relationships

Within the School Environment
This criterion means the student does not relate to others in an appropriate manner.

Interpersonal relationships refer to a student’s actions and reactions to peers and adults in the school environment. Consideration of the student’s developmental level is critical under this determination of eligibility. There is a wide range of “normal” due to personality differences and familial or cultural traits. Problem behaviors must be pervasive, generally affecting relationships with teachers and peers and occur over an extended period of time across settings and situations. It should be emphasized that inability must be differentiated from unwilling or lacking the social skills, despite targeted social skills interventions.


Consideration for eligibility must be given to frequency, intensity and duration of behaviors and must deviate significantly from student’s age, gender, peer group, family norms and culture across different environments and across educational settings. Behavioral differences among students of diverse cultures, environments, and economic status are to be expected. The impact of these differences must be considered when behavior deviating from the norm is identified. After behavior interventions have occurred in the general education setting and have been documented, students may continue to exhibit behaviors similar to the following:
§ Acts verbally or physically aggressive to other students and/or adults

§ Withdraws and isolates physically and/or verbally from others

§ Demonstrates fear or anxiety of peers, teachers and/or adults, or school

§ Has no friends in home, school and/or community settings



§ Does not maintain socially appropriate interactive behavior with others

§ Acts emotionally unresponsive to people

§ Exhibits inappropriate sexual behaviors

§ Alienates others by seeking excessive approval



§ Persistently demonstrates regressive behaviors when stressed
Students who meet this criterion are very anxious in interpersonal situations and react with avoidance, fear and/or withdrawal. Students who alienate others by intensity of need for attention due to poor self-esteem or atypical ideas/behavior related to poor reality testing are also included.
It should be emphasized that the above behaviors do not include fighting in and of itself.

Students may not meet this criterion, despite problems with some peers/adults, if able to develop and maintain satisfactory relationships with other peers/adults.


This criterion does not include behaviors which are a direct result of alcohol or substance abuse or reactions to recent situational circumstances.
A student’s education must be adversely affected to the point where s/he cannot access the general curriculum and cannot profit from regular learning experiences without special education support.
R340.1706 (1)b Inappropriate Types of Behaviors or Feelings Under Normal

Circumstances
This criterion means the behaviors must be markedly atypical, for which no observable cause exists. More specifically these behaviors are intrapersonal (internal) in nature. They may be potentially or actually harmful. Mere misconduct or noncompliance might not qualify a student in this category.
Consideration for eligibility must be given to frequency, intensity and duration of behaviors and must deviate significantly from student’s age, gender, peer group, family norms and culture across different environments and across educational settings. Behavioral differences among students of diverse cultures, environments, and economic status are to be expected. The impact of these differences must be

considered when behavior deviating from the norm is identified. After behavior interventions have occurred in the general education setting and have been documented, students may continue to exhibit behaviors similar to the following:


§ Over-reacts to everyday occurrences (i.e. rage, regression, excessive laughter, hysterics)

§ Exhibits catastrophic or panic reactions/extreme anxiety to everyday occurrences

§ Demonstrates flat, distorted or excessive affect

§ Exhibits self-abusive behaviors



§ Exhibits delusions and/or hallucinations (auditory or visual), or thought disorders

(i.e. obsessive thoughts, illogical thinking, dissociative thinking, or paranoia)

§ Demonstrates extreme mood swings



§ Exhibits inappropriate sexually related behaviors

§ Exhibits compulsive behaviors, persistent, recurrent, and intrusive behaviors
This includes students with thoughts and/or emotions that vacillate unpredictably from one extreme to another and over which the student has no control.
This criterion does not include behaviors which are a direct result of alcohol or substance abuse or reactions to recent situational circumstances.
A student’s education must be adversely affected to the point where s/he cannot access the general curriculum and cannot profit from regular learning experiences without special education support.

R340.1706 (1)c General Pervasive Mood of Unhappiness or Depression
This criterion means a student must exhibit depressive symptomatology. Symptomatology typically involves changes in the following areas: (1) affective, (2) motivation,

(3) physical/motor functioning, and (4) cognition. A pervasive mood is one that affects many aspects of a

person’s life impacting behaviors and functioning within the school setting.


Consideration for eligibility must be given to frequency, intensity and duration of behaviors and must deviate significantly from student’s age, gender, peer group, family norms and culture across different environments and across educational settings. Behavioral differences among students of diverse cultures, environments, and economic status are to be expected. The impact of these differences must be

considered when behavior deviating from the norm is identified. After behavior interventions have occurred in the general education setting and have been documented, students may continue to exhibit behaviors

similar to the following: (1) Affective:

§ Changes in relationships with peers, adults or family; possibly includes increased isolation

§ Expresses feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, ineffectiveness, perfectionist tendencies or excessive guilt



§ Displays extreme anger or frustration in spite of efforts to control anger

§ Expresses feelings of extreme sadness, suicidal ideation


(2) Motivation:

§ Demonstrates loss of interest in new/familiar activities

§ Shows a decline in academic performance



§ Assumes failure or refuses to attempt tasks
(3) Physical/Motor functioning (for no apparent medical reason):

§ Significant and unexpected changes in weight or appetite

§ Experiences insomnia or hypersomnia

§ Marked change in appearance; changes in hygiene or grooming



§ Reports or exhibits on-going unsubstantiated medical problems

§ Demonstrates psychomotor agitation or lethargy

§ Demonstrates activities of self harm
(4) Cognition:

§ Experiences difficulty attending, thinking, remembering and concentrating

§ Experiences difficulty with reasoning and problem solving


Suicidal intent should always be explored when the student appears depressed, threatens suicide, or expresses a death wish. While such acts do not constitute evidence of Emotional Impairment per se, it should be an alert to school personnel. A clinical diagnosis (DSM-IV-R), such as depression, does not guarantee eligibility for an educational diagnosis of Emotional Impairment.
This criterion does not include behaviors which are a direct result of alcohol or substance abuse or reactions to recent situational circumstances.
A student’s education must be adversely affected to the point where s/he cannot access the general curriculum and cannot profit from regular learning experiences without special education support.
R340.1706 (1)d Tendency to Develop Physical Symptoms or Fears Associated with

Personal or School Problems
This criterion refers to the psychological/emotional factors that could be causing the symptoms that interfere with school performance. Very few students with Emotional Impairment establish eligibility under this criterion. The most likely example would be a student experiencing school phobia. School phobia is the persistent refusal to go to school based on some underlying anxiety. Before analysis of physical symptoms or fears is undertaken, information regarding a student’s medical conditions should be reviewed.
Consideration for eligibility must be given to frequency, intensity and duration of behaviors and must deviate significantly from student’s age, gender, peer group, family norms and culture across different environments and across educational settings. Behavioral differences among students of diverse cultures, environments, and economic status are to be expected. The impact of these differences must be considered when behavior deviating from the norm is identified. After behavior interventions have occurred in the general education setting and have been documented, students may continue to exhibit behaviors similar to the following.
Physical symptoms might include:

§ Facial tics, twitching, rocking, head banging;

§ Somatic complaints (i.e. headaches, stomach aches, racing heart, diarrhea)
Fears might include:

§ Persistent and irrational avoidance of a specific person, object or situation;

§ Intense, disabling anxiety often reaching panic proportions when a person, object, or situation is approached.


Under this criterion, physical symptoms are not under voluntary control. There must be positive evidence or strong presumption that physical symptoms are linked to psychological factors or conflict.
This criterion does not include behaviors which are a direct result of alcohol or substance abuse or reactions to recent situational circumstances.
A student’s education must be adversely affected to the point where s/he cannot access the general curriculum and cannot profit from regular learning experiences without special education support.

Exclusionary Factors
Factors to Consider
R340.1706 (3) Emotional Impairment does not include students whose behaviors are primarily the result of intellectual, sensory, or health factors.”
The intent of the eligibility criteria and the exclusionary factors are to assure that students will be appropriately assessed when considering the need and eligibility for special education or related services, or both (R340.1702). Many factors must be considered as professionals collect information when determining if the student has an Emotional Impairment. A student may exhibit behaviors consistent with an Emotional Impairment which are primarily the result of other factors.
The Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (MET) must consider and document the presence of these other factors. The MET must consider and verify that the behaviors are or are not primarily the result of intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
When gathering information for an evaluation, depending on identified student concerns, additional MET team members may be needed including: Teacher Consultants (TC), Occupational Therapist (OT), Visually Impaired Teacher Consultant (VITC), Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP), Physical Therapist (PT), Hearing Impaired Teacher Consultant (HITC), Autistic Spectrum Disordered Teacher Consultants (ASDTC), and/or Medical Specialists. Evaluators should give special consideration to the following areas:
Intellectual:

Intellectual functioning should be reviewed and the following two handicapping conditions ruled out as the primary cause of behaviors prior to an eligibility of Emotional Impairment such as:



§ Cognitive Impairment (CI)

§ Specific Learning Disability (SLD)


Sensory:

Sensory needs should be addressed and ruled out as the primary cause of behaviors prior to an eligibility of

Emotional Impairment such as:



§ Visual

§ Hearing

§ Tactile



§ Movement

§ Oral

§ Sensory Processing
Health:

Health issues should be addressed and ruled out as the primary cause of behaviors prior to an eligibility of

Emotional Impairment such as:

§ Medical conditions (hypoglycemia, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, parasitic conditions, allergies, seizure disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome/fetal alcohol effects-FAS/FAE, etc.)

§ Mental Health (Tourettes Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-ADHD)

§ Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)



§ Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Additionally, in accordance with Federal Rule 34CFR
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