Serious Emotional Disturbance Law and Legal Definition

Serious emotional disturbance (SED) is a term used in reference to children under the age of 18 with a diagnosable mental health problem that severely disrupts their ability to function socially, academically, and emotionally.

Following is a federal statute that defines the term serious emotional disturbance.

Serious emotional disturbance includes, with respect to a child, any child who has a serious emotional disorder, a serious behavioral disorder, or a serious mental disorder. [42 USCS § 290ff-4]