Various legal decisions are exerting considerable influence on concepts about and the practice of special education for seriously emotionally disturbed (SED) students. Decisions affecting eligibility for services have implications regarding the number of students and the type of student receiving SED services. School discipline, especially exclusion from school, continues to be a major focus of legal decisions. There are also considerable ramifications of decisions regarding psychotherapy as a related service for handicapped students. Special educators of SED students need to understand and examine the issues raised and addressed by such legal decisions; many are fundamental to educating SED students.
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