[semester equivalent = 3.33 credits]



Michael Sedler



Understanding the variety of disorders and diagnoses found within the student population is very confusing. Most educators are trained to understand basic behavioral approaches, but little about “mental health” issues. Today, our schools are filled with students who show characteristics of many complex disorders and educators are asked to effectively work with these children. The Harvard Medical Center has found that between 3% and 10% of girls and boys, prior to the age of 18, exhibit serious behavioral issues that fall within the Conduct Disorder range.  Another study shows that 3% to 5% of our school age children suffer from serious behavioral/emotional disorders. This class will simplify and explain many common disorders as well as intervention approaches.
Participants will learn about a myriad of disorders, signs and recognition aspects as well as effective strategies for helping children to be successful within our school settings. Topics such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Attachment Disorders, and Self Injurious Behaviors will be explored. Definitions, explanations, and educational interventions will be discussed.
This is a course designed for all educators working within the school setting, Preschool through High School.



LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  1. The skills to identify various mental disorders and their significant characteristics.
  2. Studied key interventions that will help each child become more functional in our school setting.
  3. Developed an effective behavior plan for students.
  4. Identified resources within a community to help people in each disorder category.
  5. Developed plans for educational interventions for students.
  6. Explored ways to be a resource to parents and other educators in regards to disorder topics.
  7. Reviewed and designed their own assessment of a child case study.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit.  The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit. 


Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



You may choose one from the Bibliography or select a relevant book on your own, with my prior approval.
The Bibliography is located at the end of the syllabus.
Text books may be ordered directly from the publisher (see the list/phone numbers at the back of your manual), on-line, or through bookstores.)

None. All reading is online.


Once you register, log onto the instructorʼs website at Click on Classes, then scroll down and click on Mental Health Issues manual. The manual will download as a PDF file to your computer.



Assignment #1: Read the Manual.

Read all the materials within the manual.

Assignment #2: Complete All Worksheets In the Manual.

Complete all worksheets in packet and send designated ones to instructor.
(You may electronically scan and then email them to, subject line to read ʻMental #2ʼ, or photocopy them and send postal mail.)

Assignment #3: Read a Book.

Read a chosen book (from the Bibliography at end of manual or a book of your own choosing) and write a 2-3 page paper about something you learned that you didnʼt know before.  If taking this course in a group, each person should read a book.  Only one person needs to write a summary.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ʻMental #3.ʼ

Assignment #4: Read an Article.

After reading the article Understanding Mental Health Issues in Children, write a 2-page response. 
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ʻMental #4.ʼ

Assignment #5: Discussion.

Discuss two specific disorders with a colleague. 
Write a 2-3 page paper on the discussion.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ʻMental #5.ʼ

Assignment #6: Website Review.

Review a minimum of three (3) websites on mental health issues.
Write a 1-2 page response paper to one of the websites, or a summary of your impressions of all sites.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ʻMental #6.ʼ

Assignment #7: Student Candidate.

Select a specific student to evaluate based on the information in the manual. Choose one particular area of focus and share characteristics, behavior signs, interventions and approaches.
Write a 2-3 page summary.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ʻMental #7.ʼ



In this section you will apply your learning to your professional situation.  This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students.  If you are not teaching in a classroom, please contact the instructor for course modifications.  If you are a classroom teacher and start or need to complete this course during the summer, please try to apply your ideas when possible with youth from your neighborhood, at a local public library or parks department facility,  (they will often be glad to sponsor community-based learning), or with students in another teacher’s summer classroom in session.

Assignment #8: One Week Journal.

Keep a journal for one week (7 days, minimum one paragraph per day) of behaviors you notice in the community that fall within the disorders discussed in the manual. Be specific in the behaviors, characteristics, and impact on others.
Copy and Send to instructor: Subject line to read ʻMental #8.ʼ

Assignment #9: Observations & Analysis.

Which type of mental health issue do you see most often seen in your professional setting? How does this impact the child and those around him/her? How do others (adults and children) respond to this person? Discuss this in a 2-page paper. 
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ʻMental #9.ʼ

Assignment #10: Lesson Development.

Assignment #10:  You must choose either “A” or “B”  (Required for 400 and 500 Level) 
Assignment #A: (SEND commentary to Instructor)

  • Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course.
  • Implement your lesson with students in your classroom.
  • Write a 2 page commentary on what worked well and what could be improved.
  • Include any student feedback on your lesson.

(The following is encouraged but not required):

Assignment #B: 
(SEND lesson and summary to Instructor)
Use this option if you do not have a classroom available.

  • Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course. (Do not implement it.)
  • Write a 2 page summary concerning any noteworthy success you’ve had as a teacher with one or more students.

 (The following is encouraged but not required):

  • Please refer to the guidelines on our blog prior to writing your article.
  • Please email a copy to Yvonne Hall ( THI blog curator and media specialist. 
  • Indicate whether or not you are OK with having your article considered for publishing on our website. 
  • Subject line to read: (Course Name, Blog)

Send to instructor:, Subject Line to read ʻMental #10 (A or B.)ʼ

Assignment #11: (500 Level only)

In addition to the 400 level assignments, complete one (1) of the following options:
Option A)  Choose one mental health area not discussed in this manual and investigate its impact upon children in our society. Your paper should include where you obtained your information, a summary of the disorder, the impact upon children, and intervention ideas for educators. Write 2-3 pages.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ʻMental #11-A.ʼ
Option B)  Create a PowerPoint presentation for your staff based on this course and focused on perspectives or strategies you feel would be beneficial for your school. Save this as a pdf.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ʻMental #11-B.ʼ
Option C)  Another assignment of your own design, with the instructorʼs prior approval.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ʻMental #11-C.ʼ


Assignment #12: (Required for Clock Hrs, PDUs, CEUs, Act 48, 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?

Send to your instructor at their email address. Subject line to read  "(put course name here) Integration Paper"


Please indicate by email to the instructor if you would like to receive comments on your assignments.


Mike Sedler, D.Min., M.S.W. brings over 30 years of educational experience as an administrator, social worker, behavior specialist and teacher to each of his classes.  

He provides consultation services and seminars throughout the United States and Canada for schools, agencies and businesses.  He has been teaching “adult learning classes” since the mid 1980’s and has had the privilege of working for The Heritage Institute for over 25 years. 

He has a graduate degree in Social Work, a Doctoral degree in Ministry, a Counseling license, as well as his teaching certification (K-8).  His combination of classroom experience, behavior intervention approaches, and involvement in working with hundreds of families allows for an excellent blend in all his classes.

Mike is passionate about children and emphasizes the importance of avoiding power struggles, offering options/choices to children, setting clear boundaries and guidelines as well as finding a place of positive engagement and connection with each individual.  His heart for people and emphasis on positive communication are found throughout his seminars and classes.

All of Mike’s classes are practical and “field tested” in schools and classrooms. Educators have found ongoing success in implementing Mike’s clear and concise approaches.



Amen, Daniel. Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. Three Rivers Press, 2008. K-12.  800 793 2665. The breakthrough program for conquering anxiety, depression, obsessiveness, anger, and impulsiveness.
Bayat, Mojdeh.  Addressing Challenging Behaviors and Mental Health Issues.  Routledge Press, 2015. P-12.  
800 634 7064. Combines research and practical approaches to student behavior.
Butler, Beverly.  The Misdiagnosed Child.  Emerald Enterprises LLC, 2013.  P-12.    Discusses anxiety, ADD, ADHD, and OCD diagnoses in children.
Chansky, Tamar. Freeing Your Child From Anxiety. Broadway Press, 2014. K-8.   800 869 6372. Solutions to overcome a childʼs fears, worries, and phobias.
Chansky, Tamar.  Freeing Your Child From Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  Three Rivers Press, 2011. K-12.  
800 793 2665. A powerful practical program for parents of children and adolescents.
Doll, Elizabeth and Cummings, Jack.  Transforming School Mental Health Services. Corwin Press, 2007. K-12.  
800 233 9936. Provides a comprehensive ten-step approach to wellness and academic success.
Ford, Julian.  Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children and Adolescents.  The Guilford  Press. 2013. P-12.   800 365 7006. Understanding the impact of ptsd on children and interventions for them.
Green, Ross.  The Explosive Child.  Harper Paperbacks, 2014. K- 6.  A new approach for understanding and parenting easily frustrated, chronically inflexible children.
Parkin, Andrew and Dogra, Nisha. A Multidisciplinary Handbook of Child and Adolescent Mental Health for Front-Line Professionals.  Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2009.  K-12.   866 416 1078.  An introduction to mental health covering the nature, prevalence, treatment, and management of mental health problems.
Silva, Raul. Post traumatic Stress Disorders in Children and Adolescents Handbook. W.W. Norton, 2004. K-12.  
800 233 4830. Practical strategies for helping children and adolescents with PTSD.
Sink, Christopher.  Mental Health Interventions for School Counselors.  Wadsworth Publishing, 2010.  P-12.  617 289 7700.  
A collaborative book with suggestions on “how to” from some of the leading counselor educators.
Sklare, Gerald (Bennett).  Brief Counseling That Works.  Corwin Press, 2014.  P-12.   800-233-9936. Effective approaches to counseling youth in schools.
Thomas, Nancy. When Love Is Not Enough: A Guide to Parenting Children with RAD (reactive attachment disorder). Families by Design, 2008.
K- 8.   970 984 2222. A strong book discussing ways to work with attachment disorders in children.
Wagner, Aureen Pinto. What to do when your Child has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Lighthouse Press, 2002. K-12   888 749 8768.  A book that focuses on strategies and solutions for this difficult disorder.