Severe Behavior Disorders of Children and Youth: (Volume 24). (Introduction to Special Issue)

Article excerpt

This volume of Education and Treatment of Children is devoted to providing in-depth information on the education and treatment of students with emotional and behavioral disorders. This issue consists of 10 peer-reviewed articles, which were originally presented at the 24th Annual Teacher Educators for Children with Behavior Disorders Conference held in Scottsdale, Arizona in November 2000. Additionally, this issue of ETC represents Volume 24 of the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders on-going monograph series on Severe Behavior Disorders of Children and Youth. Consulting editors and field reviewers from both ETC and Behavioral Disorders were responsible for selecting these articles for publication. Collectively, these articles address a number of issues and challenges, suggest a number of programmatic strategies, and propose directions for future research and practice for students with EBD.

In the keynote article, Forness and Kavale point out that children with ADHD are extremely prevalent in special education programs, that both differential diagnosis and comorbidity appears crucial to their special education eligibility and to effective intervention, and that stimulant medication may well be their most effective treatment. They suggest that psychopharmacologic treatment may be superior to behavioral interventions and that we should return to the "medical model" in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD.

The next two articles focus on the role of functional behavioral assessment (FBA) in the schools. Gable, Hendrickson, and Van Acker present six factors that affect fidelity of treatment in relationship to FBA. These factors include adult knowledge of effective intervention, acceptance of the intervention, alignment of the intervention with student motivation, selection of suitable replacement behavior, procedures to insure treatment integrity, and a realistic standard against which to judge the success of the plan. Quinn, Gable, Fox, Rutherford, Van Acker, and Conroy examine critically a range of issues that relate to FBA in schools. They identify gaps in the FBA research and professional literature and propose a modest research agenda for transforming FBA from successful clinical research to effective classroom practice for students with emotional/behavioral disorders.

The next article shifts attention to the critical issue of discipline of students with behavior problems in the schools. Morrison, Anthony, Storino, and Dillon analyzed the educational and personal-social characteristics of middle school and junior high students who were referred to an in-school suspension program. They explored the relationship between these students' characteristics and their previous discipline history; the level of severity of disciplinary offenses resulting in in-school and out-of-school suspensions; the severity of offenses for students with and without a prior history of in-school suspension; and administrator perceptions of behavior improvement in relation to student characteristics.

Lane, Gresham, MacMillan, and Bocian examine the extent to which risk and protective factors present in third grade differentiate between at-risk fifth grade students who did and did not meet criteria for antisocial behavior with hyperactivity (ABH). Their findings suggest that it is possible to identify differences between at-risk and control students and to detect differences between different types of at-risk students. …