Classification and Symptoms
An emotional handicap is a condition which results in improper behavior that interferes with the individual's ability to learn and function under normal circumstances. Emotional handicaps are typically divided into three categories: psychologically disturbed, severely to moderately disturbed, and mildly disturbed. These disorders are characterized by behavior problems extending over a period of time which adversely affect the person's daily functioning, learning, occupation, or social life.
Someone with an emotional handicap may display any of the following symptoms:
- An inability to learn that cannot be explained by other factors
- The inability to build or maintain interpersonal relationships with peers
- Inappropriate or disruptive behavior
- A general feeling of unhappiness or depression
- Unexplainable fears and anxieties
- A tendency to develop physical pain associated with social or emotional issues
- Aggressiveness or withdrawal
- Compulsive behavior
Traditional treatment for emotionally handicapped individuals includes counseling and medication. However, psychologically disturbed children require additional support. They require structured learning environments to encourage learning while teaching behavior control strategies and socialization. Mild to moderately emotionally handicapped children are often integrated into regular classes with additional support.
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