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Special Education Eligibility

Special Education Programs and related services are available for students identified as handicapped from birth through age twenty-one. These programs and services are provided to students who are deemed eligible under one of the following handicapping condition categories: 
 

Autism
Deaf/Blindness
Deafness
Emotional Disturbance
Established Medical Disability (3 - 5 year olds)
Hard of Hearing
Intellectual Disabilities
Multiple Disability
Orthopedic Impairment
Other Health Impairment
Speech/Language Impairment
Specific Learning Disability
Traumatic Brain Injury
Visual Impairment

Autism - means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age 3, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.

P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), Title 34, CFR, 300.7 (c)(1)(i-ii)


Deafness - means a hearing impairment which is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, which adversely affects educational performance.

P.L. 101-476 (IDEA), Title 34, CFR, 300.7(c)(3)


Deaf/Blindness - means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for with deafness or children with blindness.

P.L. 105-107 (IDEA), Title 34, CFR, 300.7(c)(2)


Emotional Disturbance - is defined as follows:

a. The term means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree, that adversely affects educational performance:

(1) An inability to learn which cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.

(2) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.

(3) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.

(4) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.

(5) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

b. The term includes schizophrenia. The term does not include children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance.

P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), CFR, 300.7(c)(4)


Hard of Hearing - means an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), CFR, 300.7(c)(5)


Intellectual Disabilities - means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), Title 34, CFR 300.7(c)(6)


Multiple Disabilities - means concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness, mentally retardation-orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness.

P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), Title 34, CFR, 300.7(c)(7)


Orthopedic Impairment - means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g., clubfoot, absence of some member, etc.), impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).

P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), Title 34, CFR, 300.7(c)(8)


Other Health Impairment - means having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that -

(i) Is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, and sickle cell anemia; and

(ii) Adversely affects a child's educational performance

P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), Title 34, CFR, 300.7(c)(9)


Specific Learning Disability - is defined as follows:

General. The term means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.

Disorders not included. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), Title 34, CFR, 300.7(c)(10)


Speech or Language Impairment - means a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), CFR, 300.7 (c)(11)


Traumatic Brain Injury - means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), Title 34, CFR, 300.7(c)(12)


Visual Impairment including blindness - means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.

P.L. 101476 (IDEA), CFR, 300.5(b)(11)


All determinations of eligibility, placement and services are an Individual Education Program (IEP) team decision, based upon the results of a multi-disciplinary team evaluation.