The purpose of this research study is to compare the prevalence rates of students diagnosed with a primary disability of Emotional Disabilities (ED) grades kindergarten through twelfth, in Virginia in 2010 and 2015, and to examine patterns of change and differences. The results shown throughout the study will help identify regions and counties where there is a larger chance for over or under identification of emotional disabilities. This in turn will help identify areas where training about teacher efficacy, working with students diagnosed with emotional disturbances, is needed. The objective is to collect the public school records from the counties, regions, and the state to calculate the average amount of difference from the regional and state means as expressed in z-scores. The data will then be compared to identify any outliers that might be present. After determining specific outliers, two standard deviations from the norm, a second study will occur to investigate why there might be an over or under identification of emotional disabilities. Key personnel from around Virginia such as superintendents, special education service providers and teachers will be contacted to yield personal statements and observations throughout local education authorities (LEAs). The primary target of this paper is public school LEAs in Virginia; however, various teachers with all levels of experience who support children with emotional and behavioral challenges may find useful ideas in the study.

Additional Abstract Information

Student(s): Amanda T. Kousen

Department: Education

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Laura Desportes

Type: Oral

Year: 2017

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