SEVERE EMOTIONAL/BEHAVIOURAL DISABILITY (Code 42)
A student/child with a severe emotional/behavioural disorder is one who:
displays chronic, extreme and pervasive behaviours and requires close and constant adult supervision, high levels of structure, and other intensive support services in order to function in an educational setting. The behaviours significantly interfere with both the learning and safety of the student/ECS child and other students/ECS children. For example, the student/child could be dangerously aggressive and destructive (to self and/or others), violent and/or extremely compulsive; and
(for grades 1–12 students) has a diagnosis including conduct disorder, schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder, obsessive/compulsive disorders, or severe chronic clinical depression; and may display self-stimulation or self-injurious behaviour. In the most extreme and pervasive instances, severe oppositional defiant disorder may qualify; or
(for ECS children) has either a diagnosis or a statement by a qualified professional indicating that the child experiences severe behavioural difficulties.
A clinical diagnosis within the last two years of a severe emotional/behavioural disorder by a psychiatrist, registered psychologist or a developmental pediatrician is required, in addition to extensive documentation of the nature, frequency and severity of the disorder by school authorities. In the case of an ECS child who is not currently placed in an educational environment, extensive documentation of the nature, frequency, and severity of the disorder by the referring specialist may suffice. The effects of the disability on the student’s/ECS child’s functioning in an education setting should be described. An ongoing treatment plan/behaviour plan should be available and efforts should be made to ensure that the student/ECS child has access to appropriate mental health and therapeutic services.


A clinical diagnosis of a severe emotional/behavioural disorder is not necessarily sufficient to qualify under this category. Some diagnoses with behavioural components that are not sufficient to qualify are: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), attention deficit disorder (ADD).
Note: Students/ECS children diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in the most severe cases should be reported under Code 44 rather than Code 42.


When your student experiences difficulty with following classroom rules...
  • teach rules/expectations; model/role play situations.
  • post rules/expectations.
  • teach skills of independence.
  • be consistent.
  • use proximity.
  • have students set personal goals.
  • use self-monitoring strategies.
  • use positive correction prompts.
  • teach the use of positive and negative consequences.

When your student experiences difficulty with attending...
• use preferential seating.
• use proximity to measure on task behavior.
• build-in opportunities for movement within a lesson.
• use self-monitoring strategies.
• provide a structure for organization.
• help the student set and monitor personal goals.
• provide alternative work area.
• decrease distractions.
• use active learning to increase opportunities for student participation.
• provide opportunities to change tasks or activities more frequently.
• have small, frequent tasks.
• provide reminder cues or prompts.
• use private signal to cue appropriate behavior for more difficult times.
• teach skills of independence, i.e., paying attention.
• provide definite purpose and expectations especially during unstructured activities.
• prepare the learner for changes in routine.
• use computer.
• use graphic organizers.
• reduce assignment length.