Emotional Disabilities


Click on and download the following behavioral health and instructional resources PDF. The PDF document link contains six different topics of resources for different user groups to use during the COVID-19 pandemic– including resources for educators, students, families and behavioral health providers.

SESA ED Specialists provide consultation, training and technical assistance in the area of emotional, social and behavioral disorders. Specialists work closely with staff at the school through on-site and distance delivery services. Our staff provide assistance to help schools conduct ecological assessments, functional behavioral assessments and a wide variety of other assessments with the goal of developing behavior intervention plans. SESA Specialists also assist schools in developing progress monitoring systems for students.

The Emotional Disabilities Program serves students in the following state disability categories: (For the specific requirements of each, view the Evaluation and Eligibility Section of the State Special Education Handbook.)

  • Emotional Disabilities
  • Other Health Impairment
  • Early Childhood Developmental Delay (i.e., deficits identified in the area of social and/or behavioral domains).

Assistance to districts in the rural and remote portions of the state is provided both on and off site. For example:

Staff training through on-site and regional in-services related to best practices for educating students with moderate and severe disabilities, such as:

  1. School Mental Health
  2. Functional Behavioral Assessment
  3. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
  4. Inclusion Strategies
  5. Integrating Related Services
  6. Transition Planning
  7. PBIS For Parents/Family Members
  8. Use of Assistive Technology/Tools
  9. Developing and Maintaining Linkages with:
    • Regional Behavioral Health Services
    • Residential Psychiatric Centers
    • Educational Transition Support Project

Assistance to districts in development and implementation of instructional programs

  1. Assistance to districts in the development of appropriate educational programs
  2. Specialized assessments, such as conducting:
    • Ecological inventories
    • Initial Line of Inquiries
    • Reinforcement Surveys
    • Preference Assessments
    • Comprehensive Functional Behavioral Assessment Surveys (CFBAS)
  3. Developing Positive Behavioral Intervention And Support Plans (PBISP)
  4. Progress Monitoring Systems
    • Behavior Rating Survey (BRS)
    • Functional Assessment Observation (FAO) Form
  5. Inter-agency and cross-district networking
  6. Identifying appropriate materials from the SESA Library

Staff training through on-site, regional and statewide in-services related to best practices for educating students experiencing emotional/behavioral challenges. SESA specialists utilize the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports(PBIS) framework within the scope of their practice. PBIS serves as a natural bridge to connect education, educational programming and school mental health. On-site and web-based trainings can be requested by contacting Lyon Johnson, Emotional Disabilities Program Specialist at: ljohnson@sesa.org. Importantly, for those individuals seeking to access online or web-based trainings to earn continuing education certificates, please contact Lyon Johnson before starting any of the module-based trainings listed below.

Training Modules
Supporting Behavioral Health of Youth and Families (CE certificates available)

MDBehavioralHealth.com is an online training site hosted by the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The site provides self-paced online training to individuals interested in supporting the behavioral health of youth and their families. Download materials, take the training, view video tips from experts, and explore related links, all from one central site. Many of the training modules provide continuing education certificates of completion.

Staying Connected