Nurturing resiliency among adolescents with emotional and behavioral disturbances (EBD) in a special education setting
Many youth with emotional and behavioral disturbance (EBD) face significant challenges and difficulties with their families, schools, friends and peers, and even themselves, and experience them academically, emotionally, physically, socially and behaviorally. These youth need resilience to help them overcome these difficulties and challenges. This qualitative study focused on understanding the nature of schooling and interventions provided to students identified as having the most severe emotional and behavioral disabilities or needs, and how such schooling and interventions might explicitly or implicitly promote resilience. The researcher sought to examine interventions used by observing a specific self-contained program with clearly defined services. This study contributes meaningfully to the construct of resilience and hopefully raises awareness about resilience and makes clear its importance for students with EBD. Six participants (including: four special education teachers, the school psychologist, and the interventionist) of a self-contained school were interviewed, observed, and collected data from them three times each, over the course of several months to explore what interventions the school used and if the program fostered and nurtured resiliency in the youths receiving specialized services. The data analysis resulted in several themes in response to study’s research questions. Results from this study add to the literature on why resiliency is important and it affects individuals with EBD in special education settings. The research suggested and recommended based upon the findings, analysis, and conclusions that: (1) the need for developing a comprehensive intervention to address all the needs and challenges that students with EBD have and teach them all the skills they need academically, behaviorally, emotionally, and socially; and (2) encourage a school-wide system to integrate resilience as an important intervention teachers and educators should consider to students with EBD.