DARREN: THE STUDY OF AN EMOTIONALLY IMPA IRED STUDENT
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Before I begin to discuss my personal involvement and experienceswith- Darren, however, determination of the condition of emotionallyimpaired should,be ~stablished. The State of Michigan states -that',-the. 'emotionally impaired shall be determined through manifestation of behavioral problems primarily in the affective domain, oV,e:r an extended period of time, which adversely affect the person's education to the extent that the person cannot profit from regular learning experiences without special education support. And these pr~blems result in behaviors manifested by one or more of the following characteristics: (a) Inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships within the school environment. (b) Innapropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances. (c) General perVasive mood of unhappiness or depression. (d) Tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated \t/ith personal or school problems. At one time or anotner, Darren has fit into each of these . characteristics, with some being more predominant in his case than others. The term "emotionally' impaired" also" includes persons who exhibit maladaptive behaviors related to schizophrenia, autism, or similar disorders. The determination of emotionally impaired also states that pec3or.3,whose behaviors are primarily the result of 2 intellectual, sensory or health factors are not included in th~ category ~f emotionally impaired. As previously noted, Darren's classification is emotionally impaired. In Darren's case there are no real concrete reasons why he is classified as such, but one can make a couple of speculations. First, his condition possibly sugg~sts physical behavioral problems, and it is thought that quite possibly the levels of chemicals or hormones in his metabolism could be way out of proportion with the average persons. Another reason may revolve around his family life and environment. For example, his father is an alcoholic and his mother is very passive and unsure of herself. Darren has one sister, and one can observe some "squirrelly" attributes of Darren in her, but she is not emotionally impaired and is much closer to normal than Darren. (I will speak more of Darren's family life later.) Regardless of the exact reasons why Darren is emotionally impaired, he WaS literally referred to special education at the end ofhiskinderg~rten year, in school. The reasons for this early :-.::- ... referral to special education included such things as hyperactivit.Yt the inability to attend to simple tasks, distractabilitYt and other disruptive behaviors. Although Darren's intelligence is very high, in fact it is within the gifted range, one can definitely see emotionally impaired behaviors in Darren at the present time. Darren has an unreal co~ception of his self-ability; for example, strength and his potential as an athlete, in which, without sounding mean but being cari~id, he has none. His gross motor control is very bad, but he thinks he is performing well. This can. be typified by the following stories.