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Serious Emotional Disability (SED)

Definition: A child with a Serious Emotional Disability shall have emotional or social functioning which prevents the child from receiving reasonable educational benefit from general education.


Professional Development Opportunities

Webinar: Increasing Achievement for Students with Serious Emotional Disabilities (SED) - Creating Specially Designed Instruction for Students with SED
This one hour webinar addresses academic and behavioral strategies to embed in instruction and interventions to increase academic achievement for students with serious emotional disabilities (SED).


Workshop: Transforming Disability Identification through Culturally Responsive Approaches
Featuring: Janine Jones, Ph.D.
This workshop focuses on the problem of disproportionality and the over-representation of students of color identified for special education under the category of Emotional Disturbance.



Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Special Education for Students with Serious Emotional Disability
(for use by districts that have adopted  SED criteria)


Guidebook for Determining the Eligibility of Students with SIED
(for use by districts that have not adopted SED criteria - can be used until July 2016)

The purpose of this guidebook is to help parents, teachers, administrators and mental health professionals become knowledgeable about the special education eligibility process for students with emotional disabilities.


CDE SED Wikispaces
The Colorado Department of Education, with the help of the 2015 Serious Emotional Disability (SED) Taskforce, created a wikispace with various tools for collecting data, action planning, and measuring fidelity of and for behavior interventions, including Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs).  This site allows for exploration of behavior tools: CDE Behavior Tools


Topic Briefs


For more information about Serious Emotional Disabilities, please contact:

Julia Wigert
Phone: (303) 866-6933

Quick Links


Contact Us

Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
Contact CDE

CDE Hours
Mon - Fri 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
See also: Licensing Hours

Educator Licensing