Special educators' knowledge regarding psychotropic interventions for students with emotional and behavioral disorders

Joseph B. Ryan, Robert Reid, Cynthia Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


The use of psychotropic interventions to manage the inappropriate behaviors displayed by students with emotional and behavior disorders has become more common over the past several decades. The efficacious use of these medications requires monitoring students for desired behavioral outcomes as well as potential side effects. Educators are in an excellent position to monitor medication effectiveness and provide feedback to the prescribing physician because they are in close proximity of students for up to 6 hr per day. However, to date, there has been sparse research investigating teachers' knowledge of the desired therapeutic outcomes and potential side effects of even the most common psychotropic medications prescribed to youth. A survey of staff from 12 nonpublic residential and special day schools found that special educators and paraprofessionals alike have minimal knowledge of any medication, with the exception of stimulants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-279
Number of pages11
JournalRemedial and Special Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008



  • Emotional and behavioral disorders
  • Psychotropic medications
  • Special educators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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