What is severely emotionally disturbed?

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Severe Disturbance is the inclusive term for children and adolescents whose severity of emotional, mental and behavioral disturbance requires a comprehensive and organized system of care. As these parameters indicate, the designation of "severe emotional disturbance" among children reflects a two dimensional relationship between the severity of the dysfunction and the system of care necessary to meet the needs of the severely emotionally disturbed children and adolescents. This two dimensional description can be further defined as: SEVERITY OF DYSFUNCTION: In order for a child to be considered severely emotionally disturbed, the child's behavior must exhibit the following characteristics: Frequency The behavior shall have occurred with sufficient frequency to be considered a pattern of situational inappropriate behavior which deviates substantially from behavior appropriate to one's age and cultural peer group. Intensity The behavior shall have occurred with sufficient intensity to ... more
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