The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) has identified the following characteristics and behaviors as typical of children with emotional disturbances:

    * Inappropriate types of behavior under normal circumstances, such as aggression or self-injurious behavior
    * Hyperactivity (short attention span, impulsiveness)
    * Withdrawal or a general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression (failure to initiate interaction with others, retreat from exchanges or social interaction, excessive fear or anxiety)
    * Development of physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems
    * Immaturity (inappropriate crying, temper tantrums, poor coping skills)
    * An inability to build and maintain relationships with peers and teachers
    * Learning difficulties that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors (academically performing below grade level)