SEBD领域最重要的问题之一是，对那些可能与那些没有严重的纪律问题的人(Evan, Harden, Thomas 2004)有社交、情感和行为方面的困难的人的理解和识别是不明确的。这就带来了第一个困难，因为决定将一个个体归类为有SEBD的人，他认为行为的某些方面存在问题，并且依赖于那个人的构念。政府出版物提供了一些描述，本文考虑了其中两个。在第9/94(1994)号通告中，情绪和行为困难(EBD)被描述为介于两者之间。这种行为会对老师构成挑战，但却在正常范围内，尽管是不可接受的，而且是严重精神疾病的象征。精神疾病导致的正常但紧张的行为、情绪和行为困难之间的区别很重要，因为每一种都需要区别对待。
One of the overriding issues in the field of SEBD is the ambiguity in understanding and identification of individuals who may have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties with those who have less severe discipline problems (Evan, Harden, Thomas 2004). This introduces the first difficulty as the decision to classify an individual as having SEBD is with the person who identifies some aspect of behaviour as problematic and is reliant on that person's constructs. Government publications have provided several descriptions of which two are considered in this essay. In Circular 9/94 (DfE 1994) Emotional and Behavioural Difficulty (EBD) is described as being between. "behaviour which challenges the teacher but is within normal, albeit unacceptable, bounds and that which is indicative of serious mental illness. The distinction between normal but stressed behaviour, emotional and behavioural difficulties arising from mental illness is important because each needs to be treated differently.