Presentation on theme: "Incorporating Cultural Factors in Determining Emotional Disturbance"— Presentation transcript:
1 Incorporating Cultural Factors in Determining Emotional Disturbance Presented by:Ray Easler, Ph.D.Franklin-McKinley School DistrictAlliant UniversityKimberlie Cain, M.A., Ed. S.San Diego Unified School DistrictJulie Miller, Graduate Student
2 AGENDAWhat are the 3 specifiers of the 5 potential characteristics of the emotional disturbance definition?How are they defined?What are the 5 potential characteristics of the emotional disturbance definition?How do the cultural implications mesh with the Emotionally Disturbed for African-American, Hispanic, and Native American students?
3 What is the State’s definition or criteria for disproportionate representation? Agenda (continued) Non-Biased assessment - Does it pertain solely to the instruments used or can it include the assessor as well?Questions put forth to representatives from States in looking at “Disproportionate Representation” from OSEPWhat is the process used to determine if it is the result of inappropriate classification?Why are the majority of the States reporting 0% of LEA’s with Disproportionate Representation being the result of inappropriate determination? (Ideadata.org)
4 Late 70s and early 80s literature Suggested biased placement likely to have it’s roots in the referral processAssessment data may be collected to reinforce a “covert decision” that had already been madeThe result of predetermined “perceptions”, “cognitions”, and “belief systems” likely to result in a disproportionality of students of color in E.D. classes
5 Implications to Assessment School psychologists need to be sensitive to culture during the assessmentNeed to be careful that the “problematic” behaviors are not the result of racial, ethnic, linguistic, and/or other factors, but rather are “normal characteristics for their culture”Misconceptions come from:not being aware of the cultural considerations of these studentsNot thinking like the studentsnot being aware of, or understanding their culture
6 E.D. eligibility often determined by… Training (or lack of)Personal experiences and viewsDefinition of professional associationState and District policies
7 Who Makes the Difficult Decision? Ambiguous decisions of differentiating between “learned” behaviors and behaviors that are a “disability” are often made by an I.E.P. team as a result of:team members who focus on the teacher’s complaintNot focused on student’s characteristicsNot focused on the appropriateness of identification and placement. (Coroner’s attitude.)
8 What to look at…look at the student as an individual through global aspects ofCognitiveSocialAffective processesPossible effects of these variables on teachers, students, and administrators (Frisby 1992)
9 What to look at…“The most important factor that needs to be addressed is assessor bias and misuse of assessment information. After all, the person conducting the evaluation is a product of family experiences, beliefs, social-group membership as well as formal training.” -Gray-Little (1995)
10 Research DataTwo studies show teachers’ perceptions of students’ behavior and teacher biases influence patterns and have been linked empirically to special education referrals and referral patterns. - Cartledge & Kourea (2008); (Hosp & Reschly (2003).
11 Questions to Ask/Observations to Make: What behaviors appear to bother the teacher?Which students are exhibiting the behaviors?Are all students exhibiting the behaviors treated the same?Who are the students the teacher appears to have the most difficulty managing?What are their cultural, economic, or linguistic backgrounds?How do students from different backgrounds appear to affect the teacher?
12 Questions to Ask/Observations to Make: To what extent has the teacher “reached out” (or appeared to) and demonstrated concern to students of color?To what extent has the teacher demonstrated genuine care to all students?If students were asked to identify which students are treated differently what would they say?If students were asked to identify which students the teacher likes best and least what would they say?
13 Questions to Ask/Observations to Make: How are students of color performing in the teacher’s class?What does the teacher do or say to encourage these student’s to be successful?Is there evidence that the teacher considers the cultural backgrounds of the students in his/her teaching style?Is there evidence that the teacher has introduced culturally considerate curriculum?What evidence is there regarding whether the teacher is aware of and sensitive to the differences in behaviors or learning styles of students of color?
14 Issues that may result in inappropriate referrals: Behaviors that are acceptable and encouraged in the home and the community may be incompatible with expected school behaviorsMay cause the student to choose between home and school behaviorsBehaviors that are indicative of problems in one group of students may not be so in another group of studentsSome behaviors students exhibit may be wrongly attributed and interpreted by teachers who do not understand the students’ culture or background
15 “….school psychologists must determine whether problems presumed to reside within the students, may result from institutional biases in the school.”-Sandoval (2007) Professional standards and ethical issues (pg 37) in Handbook of Multicultural School Psychology – An Interdisciplinary Perspective.
16 “The potential difficulty for educators lies in recognizing whether, when, and how culture is having an effect on students’ ‘functioning’. ”
17 Recommendations on working with Ethnic Minority Students (Sattler) Areas to consider:Student’s and family’s ethnic groupstudent’s and family’s languageFamily’s functioning, structure, and rolesStudent’s and family’s health historyAttitudes toward health and illnessStudent’s and family’s needs, resources, and vulnerabilitiesStudent’s and family’s acculturationCommunity’s resources
18 Recommendations on working with Ethnic Minority Students (Sattler) Areas to consider:Personal stereotypesEstablishing rapportCommunicationStudent’s and family’s perspectivesConsultation skills
19 Recommendations on working with Ethnic Minority Students (Sattler) Areas to consider:Problems associated with povertylow aspirations that often leads to hostility towards mainstream society and apathy, school failure, or withdrawaldelays in development (including delays in language, reasoning ability, and interpersonal relations).
20 Children Living in Poverty 2005 Census Bureau statistics
21 Federal Definition: Emotional Disturbance A condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance…
22 Characteristics…An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factorsAn inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstancesA general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depressionA tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.The term includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance" (CFR §300.7)(a)(9).
23 Difficulties with the Federal Definition Definitions are vague - “What ever that means”-Gresham CASP Convention 2007“…wide variability among states is most likely due, in part, to confusion, ambiguities, and differences in definitions and interpretations of the meaning of emotional disturbance”.-Best Practices in Assessment for Intervention (2007).
24 More problems: Clinical diagnoses Case law Differential diagnoses Often play critical part in our determination of eligibilityA clinical diagnosis neither guarantees or eliminates a student from receiving servicesCase lawOften times case law defines course of action in the assessment and eligibility determinationDifferential diagnosesAs practitioners we are faced with differential diagnosesState and District policiesBest Practices
25 More problems: The interpretations of the definitions are based upon an individual’s training (where and by whom)experiencepersonal perspectiveThe degree of difficulty we have with applying what we know about the child to the criteria is in direct proportion totrainingcomprehensiveness of the assessment
26 “..children, adolescents and families are subjected to widely varying philosophies, assessment procedures and services based upon questionable criteria used to determine whether a student ‘qualifies’ for services under the Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) designation”.-Olympia et. al. 2004
27 Add to That… This leads to… Lack of training in multi-cultural considerationsLack of awareness of multi-cultural considerationsThis happens with the teacher and the school psychologistThis leads to…RECIEPE FOR INAPPROPRIATE ELIGIBILITY REFERRAL AND/OR DETERMINATION
28 “Children with emotional and/or behavioral disorders are a diverse group whose difficulties exist along a continua of intensity, duration, and frequency of occurrence…The impact of the behavior on the student’s education progress must be the guiding principle for identification.” “Environmental factors: The people and systems that impact the student and the relationship between the instruction, social and community environment and the specific difficulties demonstrated by the student.”
29 …Developmental and cultural functioning: The student’s current developmental status and the extent to which the student’s behavior is different from the behavior expected for children of the same age, culture, and ethnic background;”-NASP Position Paper
30 LET’S EXAMINE OUR THINKING ABOUT “CONDITIONS” AND “CRITERIA”
31 Posey, Easler and Nackos’ Operational Definitions of the Conditions of Federal Code (2009) An extended period of time means:One month6 to 8 weeks6 months2 to 9 monthsUndefinedAll of the above(DISCUSSION)
32 Answer: F) All of the above One monthThe Devereux Scales of Mental Disorders (DSMD)Behavioral Assessment Scales for Children and Adolescents 2 (BASC 2) require that the rater has been involved with the student for at least one month.Six to Eight weeksThe BASC 2 allows a rater who has not had daily contact with the student have worked with that student for at least this period of time
33 Answer: F) all of the above Six months (generally excepted practice)Believed to be based upon time conditions found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)Supported by the new language found in Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which states the “impairment” has to last six months or longer2 – 9 monthsOSEP statement “Assuming regular interventions are unsuccessfully implemented over that time”.Epstein says at least 2 months for the SAED
34 Answer: F) all of the above Federal and State codes read, “…for an extended period of time.” Any interpretation is speculationAll of the aboveSix moths is believed to be the yardstick that most practitioners useRule of thumb – anywhere between 3 – 6 months minimum2 marking periodsNeed to look at triggering event to determine whether or not “extended period of time”
35 What constitutes ‘long’? “Various periods (of time) have been proposed as the minimum duration for which an emotional and behavioral problem should be evident in order for it to qualify as an Emotional DisturbanceProbably this duration varies for different characteristics”-Epstein & Cullinan (1998) SAED manual pg. 3Bottom line – not set in stone! (subjective)
36 To a ‘Marked Degree’ is defined as? P.I.T.A. behaviorsOn the student’s age/cognitive developmental continuumOutside the student’s age/cognitive developmental continuumWhatever the Principal saysUndefined
37 Answers: C and EReal Answer is E Not defined in Federal Ed. Code but is generally considered to be behavior not logically connected to the triggering event.
38 Answers: C and E P.I.T.A. behaviors – On the developmental continuum Pain in The A** behaviorsclosely related to D - Whatever the Principal says)Bothersome, annoying, “at-risk”, culturally related, gang involvement, learned behaviors, etc.Pimple vs. BoilOn the developmental continuum(closely related to A) - Need to know characteristics on the developmental continuumNeed to examine triggering event
39 Answers: C and E Outside the developmental continuum Need to look at the triggering event to determine if outside the developmental/cognitive continuumE.D. students typically manifest behaviors similar to those of students several years younger and/or to a degree not expectedBe careful with students from other cultures, students residing in foster/group homes, or those with psychopathologyWhatever the Principal saysPressure from the principal (a.k.a. Otherwise know as the “Coroner Attitude” Often P.I.T.A.)
40 Quotes to Consider…“……The student’s current developmental status and the extent to which the student’s behavior is different from the behavior expected for children of the same age, culture, and ethnic background.”-NASP Position statement on students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders“The intent of the modifier ‘marked degree’ is to emphasize that the child must show emotional and behavioral problems that are more extreme than ordinary in order to be considered for the ED special education category”- Epstein & Cullinan (1998) SAED manual pg. 3
41 ‘Adversely Impacted’ means? Poor gradesPoor social interactionsPoor behaviors in only structured settingsFailure to turn in homeworkPoor performance on a statewide testLack of progress in meeting grade level standardsWhat ever the parent’s attorney saysAll of the above
42 ‘Adversely Impacted’ is not defined in Federal or State Code Literature, Due Process decisions, and court cases say we need to look at the following 4 categories when determining:Educational performanceSocial interactionsInterpersonal relationshipsInterpersonal adjustments
43 Educational performance includes: Test scoresTask completionTime on taskStandardized and state wide test scoresAttendanceClassroom performance
44 Social interactions include: Working with others in classrooms assignmentsWorking with others in playground or P.E. activitiesInteractions with others in schoolInteractions with others outside of schoolCommunityChurchMay include sub-cultural activities with others
45 Interpersonal relationships include: Closely related to Social interactionsLooks at the quality and depth of those social interactions
46 Interpersonal adjustment includes: Coping with eventsSocial skills to address stressful eventsSelf-esteemAsserting selfConfidence-Letter to Lillie/Felton 23IDLER 714/23 LRP 3420 April 6, 1995
47 ‘Adversely Affects’“The term ‘adversely affects’ is used in the Part B regulations at 34 CFR in the phrase ‘adversely affects a child’s educational performance’. …..a child’s educational performance must be determined on an individual basis, and should include non-academic and academic skills. Since the measurement of ‘educational performance’ is different for each child, the Department has not developed a single definition for this term. Similarly, the term ‘adversely affects’ must be determined on an individual basis”. -Office of Special Education Programs: Thomas Hehir, Director
48 Court Decision on ‘Adversely Impacts’ “As to the qualifying condition for being seriously emotionally disturbed; while Petitioner’s academic performance is below her potential, she is able to learn; she has satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers; she exhibits inappropriate behavior in falling asleep in school but this is not inappropriate ‘to a marked degree’; … The mistrust and antipathy she feels towards her family is not necessarily inappropriate in that often adolescents feel alienated from their families. Petitioner exhibits a mood of unhappiness or depression at home but not at school; thus such mood is not pervasive. She has developed physical symptoms associated with personal or school problems.
49 Court Decision (continued) However, because there was no real plan described to cope with the physical symptoms, it cannot be determined that such symptoms were present to a marked degree. Petitioner’s case presentation was based in large part on her low academic performance. There is no question that Petitioner’s emotional problems are adversely affecting her educational performance; adverse impact, however, is not sufficient to establish a need for special education.” - Berkley USD Hearing Decision
50 ‘Adversely Impacts’ INCLUDES MORE THAN ACADEMICS! Includes all areas the student should be learning and growing in during the school day (which encompasses door to door)Districts define “adversely impacts” differently
51 To a “marked degree” may be manifested as: poor school workreduced academic achievementdifficulty making decisionsless than appropriate verbal skillsdoesn’t accept consequencesdifficulty following directionsRemember this when working with students of color and how these may tie into behaviors and attitudes associated with their culture.
52 Cultural Implications – African Americans These students enter school with academic skills behind Caucasian studentsThe gap increases during their academic careerOften refuse to engage in academic achievementDevalue educationHave the highest grade retentionOften refuse to study and give up
53 Cultural Implications - African Americans (continued) Disillusionment with idea that education can lead to successResearch suggests there is differential expectations and treatment by teachers and administrators in the areas of lower academics and poor behavior“…black students are about 1½ times more likely than white students to be classified in this category"-(Minority Students in Special and Gifted Education, National Research Council, 2002)
54 Cultural Implications - Hispanic Desire to help families may supersede desire to exceed in schoolManifest many behaviors associated with low academic achievementHigh rate of dropoutsPerform significantly lower academically than Caucasians across grades and subjects
55 Cultural Implications - Native Americans Exhibit learning styles that differ from other studentsIndifference to work ethic
56 Implications of Poverty Minorities are more likely to be poor"Being" poor increases exposure to risk factors that compromise early developmentCompromised early development impinges on school preparedness and suppresses academic achievement, heightening the need for special educationThus minorities are more likely to warrant special educationStatically, disadvantaged children do not have the opportunity to experience quality early-childhood educationAs a consequence, they come to school poorly prepared and not ready to learn, and thus are more likely to be placed in Special Education classes at an early age
57 Implications of Poverty Impoverished minority children are more likely to attend poorly funded school that are less likely to have experienced, well-trained teachers.“Per-student expenditures in those schools are often lower, while the needs of poor children require higher levels of per-pupil expenditure, better trained, more experienced teachers who can deliver high-quality instruction while practicing effective classroom management that minimizes chaos, rather than reaching for the Special Education referral form”.
58 Implications of Poverty The "weight of successful development in the early years falls most heavily on the child's relationships with primary adult caregivers" (NRC, 2002, p. 121)Parent-child interactions are usually "less than optimal” within impoverished homes and the “interactions embedded therein can be "negative.”This relationship can effect a child on a number of dimensions, including verbal interactions, literacy tasks, disciplinary practices, and parenting approaches -(e.g., Garrett, Ng'andu, & Perron, 1994; Hoff- Ginsberg & Tardiff, 1995).
59 A) An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
60 Often times what appears as an inability to learn is thought of as E Often times what appears as an inability to learn is thought of as E.D…Did you consider??Specific learning disabilityOther Health ImpairedWhen you DON’T know it all…keep readingask questionsCall on colleagues, friends, familyOnce you think you know it all…Keep readingAsk questions
61 B) Inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
62 What it Looks Like… May be manifested as ineffective social skills Misperception of social cuesMay experience peer rejection to a greater degreeManifest self-centered behaviorsInability to self monitorBlames othersEasily embarrassedSocial withdrawal
63 Cultural Implications -African Americans Develop identities in opposition to mainstream or “white” culture and engage in behaviors that are potentially deleterious to success in schoolResearch suggests these students have a “racial identity attitude” assumption that “whites do not have the best interests of A.A.s at heartPoorly developed social skills when compared to other cultures in the school settingInadequate school and community supportsNot trusting of others
64 Cultural Implications for Hispanics Prefer closer distances (sometimes seen as invading personal space)Often interacting with students in an aggressive manner
65 C) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
66 Cultural Implications - African Americans Abilities often expressed in streetwise behaviorsBehavioral manifestations result in high suspension and expulsion ratesGang involvementFears of violence, crime and incarcerationAdopt a “racial role” which is one marked by resistance, suspicion and cautionBehavior is oppositional to the work of schoolLack a serious attitude toward school work
67 Cultural Implications - African Americans (continued) Black hostility can erupt towards whites - either students or teachersDevelopment of an oppositional cultural styleBrash, loud, in your face style of respondingTend to spontaneously manifest their emotionsTend to be spontaneously verbally expressive and directFeeling of hostility towards “whites”
68 Cultural Implications - African Americans (continued) Tend to get close and touch during their expressionsTend to express subjective and passionate interpretation of others’ actionsAggressive and emotionally charged behavior may be expected at home and in the community
69 Cultural Implications - Hispanic Prefer closer distances sometimes seen as invading personal space by other culturesManifest behaviors such as fighting and talking back to teachersOppositional attitudes & school misbehaviors lead to suspensionNon compliant and failing to immediately follow directionsAffiliation with gangs in urban settingsHistory of difficulties with the legal system
70 Cultural Implications - Native American Indifference to ownershipCautiousCareful listening and observation“Permissive” approach to child rearing which encourages self- exploration and autonomyMany react negatively to direct praise or criticism given in front of others (As such, responses are different than what one would expect)Carried a weapon at a rate 2xs greater than Caucasian studentsSignificantly more likely to engage in behaviors resulting in unintentional injuries, violence, drug abuse and risky sexual behavior
71 D) A generalized pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
72 Cultural Implications - Hispanic Prolonged eye contact may be considered disrespectfulstudents tend to look down, especially when being reprimandedLess self disclosingmay not speak directly about issuesDrug and ETOH use associated withhigh level of failed classesDetentions, suspensions, expulsionsplacements in lower-ability groupsreferrals for special servicesdropout rates
73 Cultural Implications – Hispanics Studies in the 90s suggest Hispanic students exhibit to a greater degreeTimidityFearfulnessDepressive symptomsSeparation anxietySome Hispanic cultures demonstrate behaviors that are viewed the classroom asDependent, passive and reticentThis is appropriate in the homeMay not ask for help
74 Cultural Implications - Native Americans Deliberate in their responsesDo not respond rapidly to questionsMany taught that making eye contact with an older person or questioning an older person is a sign of disrespectSuicide attempt rate is 3x greater than Caucasian studentsMedical treatment because of suicide attempts is 5x greater that Caucasian studentsGreat frequency and onset at an early age of Drug and ETOH usage
75 A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems. To date - Couldn’t find anything in the literature dealing with this and cultural considerations.
76 Points to Consider…What we as psychologists consider “discipline and emotional” problems are greatly influenced byUpbringingValuesTrainingAttitudesPressure from othersDo we see the student objectively?Does the teacher see the student objectively?
77 How do the following influence your assessment and interpretation of the results? (Sattler) How would the interpretation of the data from your assessment in these areas differ for the ‘culturally different’ student?Do you recognize how your standards affect your judgments?Can you determine the bases for your hypotheses?Are you aware of any speech patterns that may affect the intelligibility of your speech?Are you aware of the style or tone of your communications?Are you aware of stereotypes and personal biases that may cloud your judgments and distract you from listening objectively?
78 How do the following influence your assessment and interpretation of the results? (Sattler) Are you aware of your body language and what your body language may convey to a child?Are you aware of any distracting mannerisms?Are you aware of any physical or mental conditions you have that may affect the assessment?Do you avoid certain issues that are uncomfortable for you or that are difficult for you to deal with?Are you uncomfortable with certain types of individuals?
79 Questions to Ask: Is the behavior within the student’s control? Is the behavior situation specific or across settings?Is the behavior goal directed?What are the strengths of the student?To what extent is the behavior influenced by familial patterns?To what extent is the behavior influenced by community patterns?To what extent is the behavior influenced by peers?
80 More Questions to Ask…What recognition does the student get from the behavior?What is the history of the behavior?How does the behavior “fit” within the developmental continuum?Knowing what you do about the “cultural implications of the background of the student…is the behavior within expectations?
81 Things to remember:How have you incorporated the effects of the cultural, and poverty if appropriate, in your assessment?To what extent have you incorporated the student’s strengths into your assessment?To what extent are you yielding to the “Coroner’s attitude?”