Rule Rule 581-015-2145
Emotional Disturbance Eligibility Criteria


If a child is suspected of having an emotional disturbance, the following evaluation must be conducted:


Social-emotional evaluation. An evaluation of the child’s emotional and behavioral status, including a developmental or social history, when appropriate.


Medical or health assessment statement. A medical statement or a health assessment statement indicating whether there are any physical factors that may be affecting the child’s educational performance;


Behavior rating scales. The completion of at least two behavior-rating scales, at least one of which is a standardized behavior measurement instrument;


Observation. An observation in the classroom and in at least one other setting by someone other than the child’s regular teacher;




Any additional assessments necessary to determine the impact of the suspected disability:


On the child’s educational performance for a school-age child; or


On the child’s developmental progress for a preschool child; and


Any additional evaluations or assessments necessary to identify the child’s educational needs.
(2)(a) To be eligible as a child with an emotional disturbance, the child must meet the following minimum criteria:


The child exhibits one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree:


An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors;


An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;


Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances;


A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or


A tendency to develop physical symptoms, or fears associated with personal, or school problems.


For a child to be eligible for special education services as a child with an emotional disturbance, the eligibility team must also determine that:


The child’s disability has an adverse impact on the child’s educational performance; and


The child needs special education services as a result of the disability;


A child who is socially maladjusted may not be identified as having an emotional disturbance unless the child also meets the minimum criteria under this rule.
Last accessed
Jul. 4, 2020