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Does a kid with emotional disability have control over behavior?

Date: May 15th, 2014
By: Polly Bath

Watch this video [1:24] to better understand the student with a documented emotional disability.

A child who is diagnosed with a documented emotional disability doesn’t always have control over their oppositional and difficult behaviors. People say to me, “They know right from wrong!” Yes, they may know right from wrong, that’s not the problem. The problem is they lack the filter that has to engage in order for them to make the decision of what’s right from wrong…that’s the problem.

I look at these kids, having specialized and worked with them forever, and I’m reminded of what happens when you don’t put a filter into a drip coffee maker. What falls into the cup? All the grounds and the water. That’s the problem these kids have—they’ve got to get a filter in there.

Because they’re so emotionally charged, their responses are based directly on their emotions, without any filtering. That’s where these kids live all the time.