For the past 12 years that I've been teaching in the field of Deaf Education, I have come across a few students who had emotional behavioral disorders. Several years back, I thought one student's behavior was just the effect of not being able to communicate. As I worked with this student, I realized that I was wrong.
I use to think that small children who were diagnosed with mental illness or with ADHD, ADD, among others were being over- diagnosed. I am not sure I feel that way today. I do think generally hearing children get over diagnosed. The experiences I've had with Deaf children have proven to be "spot" on.
The most frustrating piece in the educational system for children with emotional, behavioral disorders or mental illness, is that there are not enough services provided to this children. Many are labeled and isolated. While others spend years moving from school to school, teacher to teacher in search of the right fit. I have spoken to several parents who are in a constant battle with school districts in order to best serve their child.
This is an area I would love to explore more about. I am open and willing to learn what ever I can concerning these children. If you know of resources or want to share comments regarding children with EBD or mental illness, please do so.
Gallaudet has some great insight for teachers and parents who may need further information regarding students and possible services a school should offer.
April has been teaching for the past twelve years across the United States. She began her career in Chicago Public Schools, but has taught at Phoenix School for the Deaf, and currently teaching and interpreting in the Atlanta area.