SEBD領域最重要的問題之一是，對那些可能與那些沒有嚴重的紀律問題的人(Evan, Harden, Thomas 2004)有社交、情感和行為方面的困難的人的理解和識別是不明確的。這就帶來了第一個困難，因為決定將一個個體歸類為有SEBD的人，他認為行為的某些方面存在問題，并且依賴于那個人的構念。政府出版物提供了一些描述，本文考慮了其中兩個。在第9/94(1994)號通告中，情緒和行為困難(EBD)被描述為介于兩者之間。這種行為會對老師構成挑戰，但卻在正常范圍內，盡管是不可接受的，而且是嚴重精神疾病的象征。精神疾病導致的正常但緊張的行為、情緒和行為困難之間的區別很重要，因為每一種都需要區別對待。
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.