行为和情绪障碍属于“情绪骚扰”，“情绪支持”，“严重情绪挑战”或其他州指定的标题。 “情绪障碍”是联邦法律中的行为和情绪障碍的描述性指标，即“残疾人教育法案”（IDEA）。情绪障碍是指长时间发生并且阻止儿童在学校环境中在教育或社交方面取得成功的情绪障碍。它们的特征在于以下一种或多种：无法学习，无法通过智力，感官或健康因素来解释。无法与同龄人和教师建立或维持互惠关系。典型情况或环境中不适当的行为或感受类型。一种普遍的不快乐或抑郁情绪。经常出现身体症状或担心个人或学校问题。接受“ED”诊断的儿童在参加普通教育时通常会获得特殊教育支持。然而，许多人被置于自足的计划中，以获得行为，社交和情感技能，并学习有助于他们在普通教育环境中取得成功的策略。不幸的是，许多诊断为情绪障碍的儿童被安排到特殊计划中，以便将他们从未能满足他们需求的当地学校中移除。行为障碍是那些不能归因于严重抑郁症，精神分裂症或发育障碍（如自闭症谱系障碍）等精神疾病的行为障碍。行为障碍在儿童中被识别，他们的行为使他们无法在教育环境中成功运作，使自己或同伴处于危险之中，并阻止他们完全参与普通教育计划。行为障碍分为两类：行为障碍：在两种行为指征中，行为障碍更为严重。根据诊断和统计手册IV TR，行为障碍：行为障碍的基本特征是一种重复和持久的行为模式，其中违反了他人的基本权利或适合主要年龄的社会规范或规则。患有行为障碍的儿童通常被安置在自给自足的教室或特殊课程中，直到他们有足够的改进才能返回普通教育课程。行为障碍的儿童具有攻击性，伤害其他学生。他们忽视或蔑视传统的行为期望，而且经常是对立违抗性障碍，与行为障碍相比不那么严重，而且不那么激进，具有对立性反抗障碍的儿童仍然倾向于消极，争论和挑衅。反对蔑视的儿童不具有攻击性，暴力性或破坏性，患有行为障碍的儿童也是如此，但他们无法与成人或同伴合作，往往使他们孤立并严重阻碍社会和学业成功。在18岁以下儿童中诊断出行为障碍和对立违抗性障碍。通常对18岁以上的儿童进行反社会障碍或其他人格障碍的评估。许多精神疾病也符合IDEA类别的情绪障碍学生的资格。我们需要记住，教育机构不具备“治疗”精神疾病的能力，只能提供教育服务。有些儿童可以在儿科精神病院（医院或诊所）看到，以便接受治疗。许多患有精神疾病的儿童正在接受药物治疗。在大多数情况下，提供特殊教育服务的教师或教授他们的普通教育教室的教师不会获得这些信息，这些信息是保密的医疗信息。
Behavioral and emotional disorders fall under the rubric of “Emotional Disturbance,” “Emotional Support,” “Severely Emotionally Challenged,” or other state designations. “Emotional Disturbance” is the descriptive designation for behavioral and emotional disorders in the Federal Law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Emotional disturbances are those that occur over an extended period and prevent children from succeeding educationally or socially in a school setting. They are characterized by one or more of the following: An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors. An inability to create or sustain reciprocal relationships with peers and teachers. Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings in typical situations or environments. A pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression. Frequent occurrences of physical symptoms or fears attached to personal or school problems. Children who are given an “ED” diagnosis often receive special education support while participating in general education. Many, however, are placed in self-contained programs to gain the behavioral, social and emotional skills and learn strategies that will help them succeed in general education settings. Unfortunately, many children with diagnoses of Emotional Disturbance are put into special programs to remove them from local schools that have failed to address their needs. Behavioral disabilities are those that cannot be attributed to psychiatric disorders such as major depression, schizophrenia, or developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders. Behavioral disabilities are identified in children whose behavior prevents them from functioning successfully in educational settings, putting either themselves or their peers in danger, and preventing them from participating fully in the general education program. The Behavioral Disabilities fall into two categories: Conduct Disorders: Of the two behavioral designations, Conduct Disorder is the more severe. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV TR, Conduct Disorder: The essential feature of conduct disorder is a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated. Children with conduct disorders often are placed in self-contained classrooms or special programs until they have improved enough to return to general education classes. Children with conduct disorders are aggressive, hurting other students. They ignore or defy conventional behavioral expectations, and frequently Oppositional Defiant Disorder Less serious, and less aggressive than a conduct disorder, children with oppositional defiance disorder still tend to be negative, argumentative and defiant. Children with oppositional defiance are not aggressive, violent or destructive, as are children with conduct disorder, but their inability to cooperative with adults or peers often isolates them and creates serious impediments to social and academic success. Both Conduct Disorders and Oppositional Defiant Disorder are diagnosed in children under 18. Children who are older than 18 are typically evaluated for antisocial disorder or other personality disorders. A number of psychiatric disorders also qualify students under the IDEA category of Emotional Disturbances. We need to remember that educational institutions are not equipped to “treat” mental illness, only to provide educational services. Some children are seen in pediatric psychiatric facilities (hospitals or clinics) in order to be provided medical treatment. Many children with psychiatric disorders are receiving medication. In most cases, teachers providing special education services or teachers in general education classrooms who will be teaching them are not given that information, which is confidential medical information.