June 13, 2017

What is Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED)?

Group of children at school

Children with Severe Emotional Disturbance (SED) are persons who are under the age of 18, who have had a diagnosable mental, behavioral or emotional disorder of sufficient duration to meet diagnostic criteria specified within DSM-V, that resulted in functional impairment which substantially interferes with or limits the child’s role or functioning in family, school or community activities.

Now if the clinical definition still has you scratching your head, that’s okay. Here are some signs that your child may suffer from SED:

A ‘Diagnosed and Pervasive’ Developmental Disorder

Pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) should not be confused with specific developmental disorders (SDDs), such as speech disorders or pediatric epilepsy.  For a developmental disorder to be pervasive, it must be characterized by delays in development of multiple basic functions.  While not all PDDs are yet identified, the best-known include atypical autism, severe Aspergers, Rett’s syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder.  

Childhood Schizophrenia

Childhood schizophrenia is essentially the same as schizophrenia in adults, however, if it occurs early in a child’s life, it typically effects serious implications for development.  As schizophrenia is a chronic condition that requires lifelong treatment, it is an automatic qualifying condition for your child to receive CCF’s assistance.  

Conduct Disorder

Conduct disorder is serious behavioral and emotion disorder in a child, teen or youth.  While it is normal for children of this age to act out, one may have Conduct Disorder is the behavior is long lasting, violent and disrupts the child’s everyday life.  

Affective Disorders

Affective disorders are psychiatric diseases that affect mood, such as depression, pediatric bipolar disorder and child anxiety disorders.  These illnesses are not qualifiers for CCF assistance by themselves, however, if they are acute enough to where they seriously impede a child’s development, they may qualify as SED.  

Disruptive Behavior Disorders

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a serious pattern of negative, defiant, disobedient and hostile behavior to authority figures persisting for a long period of time.   Other signs of behavioral disorders include long-term propensities toward ongoing: serious aggression toward people, harming of animals, destruction of property, stealing or self-violence.  

Self-destructive behavior with serious medical implications

Any other behavior that could lead to chronic medical implications, such as persistent substance abuse, attempted suicides or eating disorders may mean a child suffers from SED.  

CCF Can Help

SED is a single-qualifying issue for NY Health Home assistance.  If you suspect your Medicaid-eligible child suffers from a diagnosable SED affliction, one which has serious implications for the healthy development, please refer the child to CCF for support.