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Affective Needs


Every person has four areas of development: Intellectual, Physical, Social, and Emotional. Affective Needs “typically targets awareness and growth in attitudes, emotion, and feelings." (wiki article: Taxonomy of Instructional Objectives). The affective domain describes the way people react emotionally and their ability to feel another’s pain or joy (wiki article: Taxonomy of Instructional Objectives). Affective objectives typically target the awareness and growth in attitudes, emotion, and feelings" (wiki aricle: Taxonomy of Instructional Objectives). Social and emotional Learning is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions" (excerpt from CASEL website).

Within IDEA and ECEA as it relates to the provision of services for students with disabilities the need for affective support: social, emotional, and behavior is frequently referenced.

Affective Needs: Social, emotional and behavioral struggles are associated with many different IEP disability qualification categories including autism, hearing impairment, serious emotional disability, intellectual disability, multiple disability, OHI, and developmental delay.

The Definition of Serious Emotional Disability includes:

  • 2.08 (3) (b) (ii) Impairment in social/emotional functioning as demonstrated by an inability to build or maintain interpersonal relationships which significantly interferes with the child’s social development. Social development involves those adaptive behaviors and social skills which enable a child to meet environmental demands and assume responsibility for his or her own welfare.
  • 2.08 (3) (a) (iii) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
  • 2.08 (3) (a) (v) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

Office Hours

Bill Brown will be holding monthly office hours the first Tuesday of each month from 8:00 AM to 9:30 AM

Learn more about office hours.


Examples of qualifying characteristics of social emotional and behavioral concerns include, but are not limited to:

  • 2.08 (1) (a) (i) significant difficulty establishing and maintaining social-emotional reciprocal relationships;
  • 2.08 (1) (a) (ii) integrated use of eye contact and body language is lacking;
  • significant difficulty sharing, engaging in imaginative play and developing and maintaining friendships;
  • 2.08 (1) (b) (iii) Perseverative thinking and impaired ability to process symbolic information;
  • 2.08 (2) (b) (v) Inconsistent performance in social and learning environments compared to typically developing peers;
  • 2.08 (2) (b) (vi) Inability to demonstrate self advocacy skills;
  • The level of independent adaptive behavior is significantly below the culturally imposed expectations of personal and social responsibility;
  • 2.08 (5) (b) (iii) Inability to demonstrate problem solving skills when such information is presented in a traditional academic curriculum;
  • 2.08 (7) a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli;
  • 2.08 (7) (c) an inability to manage and maintain attention, to organize or attend, to prioritize environmental stimuli, including heightened alertness to environmental stimuli that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment.

Social-emotional skills are critical for students’ learning, their readiness for college and careers, and their future success. Both research and evidence-based practice clearly show the strong connection between social and emotional development, academic learning, and success in life (Domitrovich, Dusenbury & Hyson, 2013).

What's New

Office Hours Recordings – Now Available

Bill Brown has recorded the 2023-2024 Office Hours and those sessions are now available to view.

Topics available: 

  • Elopement
  • Perfectionism
  • Selective Mutism
  • Learned Helplessness
  • Lying
  • Stealing Behaviors

Serious Emotional Disability, Social Emotional Learning, Mental Health & Behavior Office Hours

Bill Brown will be holding office hours will be the first Tuesday each month from 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM.  Session dates & topics of focus are: 
  • September 5, 2023 - Elopement
  • October 3, 2023 - Perfectionism
  • November 7, 2023- Selective Mutism 
  • December 5, 2023 – Learned Helplessness
  • February 6, 2024 –  Lying
  • March 5, 2024 –  Stealing
  • April 2, 2024 – Avoidance Behaviors
  • May 7, 2024 – Attention Seeking 


Join SED, SEL & Behavior 
Office Hours - Registration Link 

All participants must register no later than two weeks in advance.

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Prof Development

SED/Behavior PD Page

  • On-demand Webinars
  • Online Events
  • Online Courses
  • By-request Trainings

Professional Learning

8 Week Online Course: Social Emotional Learning

This 8 week online course is offered in both fall and spring semesters. The purpose of the course is to support participants in the development of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) plans and instruction based on identified building-level and student-specific needs. Individual course participants will explore the evidence-based practices and competencies involved in effective SEL planning and intervention. Assessment for lagging skills and data collection opportunities will be provided. Participants will be able to identify specific skill deficits and needs to plan for effective SEL instruction and support. Instruction will be given via the online course shell and discussion boards for collaboration with colleagues will be provided. No face-to-face opportunities or scheduled meetings are included in this course.


The Social/Emotional/Behavioral listserv is a place for teachers and service providers working with students with Significant Emotional Disabilities to find information, encouragement, and networking opportunities.

We know that many times those working with students with significant needs may be isolated and lack the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues or find the expertise they need in a timely and safe setting. This is a place to ask questions, have discussions, and share ideas with those in the field that are having the same experiences. To subscribe, Email Holly Jackson with your contact information.

By-Request Trainings/Technical Assistance

The live trainings in this section can be provided by request to a school, district, or BOCES. Simply send an email to Bill Brown, to schedule a training fine-tuned to your organization's needs. CDE contact hours are available. 

Closing the SEL Gap through Individualized Social Skill Lessons 

3-hour training where participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of how to assess for missing social skills.
  • Gain an understanding of how to develop an individual social skills lesson once missing skills have been identified.
  • Gain an understanding of how socials skills instruction fits into the FBA and BIP process.

Emotional Coaching

1-3 hour training where participants will learn about:

  • Allowing emotional expression.
  • Recognizing emotions.
  • Creating security through reducing anxiety .
  • Coping strategies vs coping mechanisms.
  • Conflict resolution.

Grief, Anxiety and Trauma

1-3 hour training where participants will learn about:

  • Grief and growth cycle.
  • Coping mechanisms vs coping strategies.
  • Anticipatory grief.
  • Preconditions for trauma.

Preschool Social Emotional Learning

6-hour training where participants will learn:

  • Social emotional standards.
  • Stages of play.
  • Attachment, personality, and temperament.
  • Needs vs wants.
  • Co-regulations.


8-hour training. “Grief is the healing process of a significant loss, not a pathological reaction. After you have been dealt a blow, you need time to recover.”

Participants will learn about:

  • The grief and growth cycle.
  • Stress, including anticipatory grief.
  • Recovery and crisis recovery.
  • Trauma and CBT (Cognitive Behavior Theory).

Self-Regulation and Co-Regulation

1-3 hour training where participants will learn:

  • Recognition of overstressed child.
  • Identification of stressors.
  • Reduction of stressors.
  • Increase child's self-awareness.
  • Teach self-regulation strategies.

Social Awareness

1-3 hour training. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

Participants will:

  • Build a deeper understanding of social awareness.
  • Identify at least one specific strategy or intervention they could try in the classroom to support social awareness.
  • Identify the role a teacher can play in helping students develop social awareness.

Social Emotional Learning

6-hour training. Social-emotional skills are critical for students’ learning, their readiness for college and careers, and their future success. Both research and evidence-based practice clearly show the strong connection between social and emotional development, academic learning, and success in life (Domitrovich, Dusenbury & Hyson, 2013). 

Participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
  • Synthesize and analyze learning to implement SEL interventions through the SED Quality Indicators in the classroom/school environment.

Social Emotional Learning within MTSS

3-hour training where participants will learn how and where SEL fits into MTSS/PBIS.

  • Tier 1: integrated curriculum and school culture/climate.
  • Tier 2: intensive classroom and small group instruction.
  • Tier 3: individualized social skill instruction.

Social Skills training

1-3 hour training. Participants will learn about:

  • Emotional skills: showing empathy, cultural awareness, appreciation.
  • Social/interpersonal: modeling coping skills and appropriate responses to anger, anxiety or sensitivity.
  • Cognitive regulation: changing a lesson when it is not working, avoiding anger, sarcasm when it is aimed at the teacher, adjusting work based on needs of the class.

Trauma Informed Practices 

6-hour training where participants will learn:

  • Background knowledge on the different types of trauma.
  • Review the core features of trauma responsive practices.
  • Knowledge of what can be done at school to help a traumatized child.
  • Strategies for emotional and behavioral crises.

For more information, please contact:

Bill Brown
Phone: (720) 603-3000
Email Bill Brown


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