The Association of Workers for Maladjusted Children (AWMC) was established to support children with emotional and behavioural difficulties and those who worked with them. The 1944 Education Act had defined 'maladjustment' as a 'handicap' requiring 'special educational treatment' leading to the creation of special, often residential provision of children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties for the first time. Many AWMC members either founded, managed or worked at specialist independent schools, operating outside of local authority control. In 1981 the AWMC merged with the Association of Therapeutic Education (ATE) following the passing of the 1981 Education Act which encouraged a move away from separate provision for children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, encouraging their reintegration into mainstream schools. This led to a change in perception of these children, and the term 'maladjusted' fell out of use. The merger was designed to allow the AWMC and ATE to better serve their client base. In 1992 the new organisation was renamed the Association of Workers for Children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (AWCEBD). In 2003 the Association was renamed again to the Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties Association (SEBDA).