Many terms are used to describe emotional, behavioral or mental
disorders. Currently, students with such disorders are categorized as
having an emotional disturbance, which is defined under the Individuals
with United States Disabilities Education Act as follows:
"...a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics
over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects
a child's educational performance—
(A) An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual,
sensory, or health factors.
(B) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal
relationships with peers and teachers.
(C) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal
(D) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
(E) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with
personal or school problems." [Code of Federal Regulations, Title 34,
As defined by the IDEA, emotional disturbance includes schizophrenia but
does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is
determined that they have an emotional disturbance. [Code of Federal
Regulation, Title 34, Section 300.7(c)(4)(ii)]