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Serious Emotional Disability (SED)


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.  Students with serious emotional disabilities are diverse learners with needs in the areas of:

  • Social Skills Training (relationships, problem-solving, focusing, conflict resolution, self-advocating, building support systems)
  • Emotional regulation training (impulse control, anger management, anxiety and depression management, coping with trauma, increasing frustration tolerance)
  • Behavioral supports (functional behavior assessments, behavior intervention plans, accommodations)

Office Hours

Bill Brown will hold monthly office hours on the topics of Serious Emotional Disability, Social Emotional Learning, Mental Health & Behavior. Office hours will be held from 8:00 - 9:30am the first Tuesday of the month.  

Learn more about office hours.

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
  • Attention Seeking Behaviors

Manifestation Determination Review (MDR) Course 

Participants who complete this course will receive a CDE certificate for 2 hours.  

In this course participants will:

  • learn how to conduct the Manifestation Determination Review process.  
  • learn what questions needs to be asked in the Manifestation Determination process and the possible outcomes of the Manifestation Determination Review. 
  • learn about how Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plans fit into the Manifestation Determination Review Process. 

This course is designed for and open to State of Colorado Educators. 

Access the MDR Course

Not a Colorado Educator? 

If you are not a Colorado public educator, you may access a noncredit version of the course. It does not include the assessments and the CDE credit hours are not available for this version of the course, but it has all the same videos and information.

View Noncredited MDR Course

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

Bill Brown will be holding monthly office hours the first Tuesday of each month from 8:00 AM to 9:30 AM. All participants must register no later than two weeks in advance for each office hour due to logistical requirements.  

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 

Additional Resources

Our team has collected resources and tools specific to SED, SEL, behavior, and mental health that may be useful during this time as you plan for students.

View the SED/SEL/Behavior & COVID Resources

SED light bulb icon

Prof Development

SED/Behavior PD Page

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

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SED/Behavior Resources

COVID Resources

General Resources

Serious Emotional Disability (SED) Task Force/Affective Needs Committee

The SED Task Force/Affective Needs Committee is comprised of teachers, administrators, and related service personnel, professors from Institutions of Higher Education, and parent advocates from throughout Colorado. This group advises the Colorado Department of Education on the statewide needs of this population and those who serve them. Their expertise is utilized for workgroups to develop trainings and products to assist educational teams in meeting the needs of this very diverse population.


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 at 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. 

Emotional Disabilities, Supporting Students with Mental Health Needs

4-6 hour training where participants will:

  • Learn about the role of the mental health provider within school systems.
  • Internalizing behaviors and externalizing behaviors.
  • Attachment, personality, and temperament.
  • Developmental stages.
  • Social emotional assessments.
  • SED IEP criteria.

DBT: Emotional Regulation and Distress Tolerance

6-hour training where participants will learn about Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and its four components:

  1. Mindfulness
  2. Interpersonal Effectiveness
  3. Distress Tolerance
  4. Emotion Regulation

Family Engagement Training

3-hour training where participants will learn about the SED Quality Indicators Family and Community Domain. The Family and community domain focuses on actively engaging family of students who struggle with Serious Emotional Disability engage in regular, two-way, meaningful communication about student learning.

The SED Quality Indicators also focus on Connect families to community resources. Participants will:

  • Learn about communication with families.
  • How to have difficult conversations, helping families with home SEL skill and home behavioral skills.

How to set up an AN Program

6-hour training where participants will learn:

  • About the SED Quality Indicator Tool for Serious Emotional Disability (SED) programming and how this tool can be helpful with action planning for program development.
  • AN program components.
  • Alternative discipline.
  • Establishing a continuum of interventions and supports.
  • Environment strategies.

IEP Qualification Criteria for Serious Emotional Disability

1-3 hour training where participants will:

  • Understand and know the body of evidence required when considering eligibility for SED.
  • Have an understanding of how to distinguish between an emotional disability and social maladjustment and factors to consider with co-morbidity.

SEL and Mental Health Literacy

1-3 hour training where participants will learn:

SEL does not encompass major mental health conditions, although SEL programs can definitely provide strong support for students with diagnosed psychiatric conditions. Students with mental health needs (and all students, for that matter) can greatly benefit from SEL programming, but it may not necessarily be a sufficient condition to meet the specific individual needs of students struggling with mental health conditions.

Serious Emotional Disability Quality Indicator Tool

1-3 hour training where participants will:

  • Be introduced to the CDE Quality Indicator Tool for Serious Emotional Disability (SED) programming.
  • Identify the need for improved programming for students with SED.
  • Learn how to use the tool to action plan and/or evaluate programming.

The Manifestation Determination Process

1-hour training were participants will:

Gain an understanding of the manifestation determination process that is needed when a decision is made to affect a disciplinary change in placement for a student with a disability who violated a code of student conduct. 

For more information about Serious Emotional Disabilities, please contact:

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



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