Qualifying Disabilities for Special Education Services
Defining and identifying disabilities begins with the Education of the Handicapped Act, Public Law 94-142 passed in 1975, which requires that all students with disabilities receive his/her free appropriate education in his/her least restrictive environment. http://theparentaladvocate In 1986, this law was amended to include birth through 5 years old. college.cengageIn 1990, again, this law was amended and changed to the Individuals with disabilities Education Act, or IDEA. http://idea.ed.gov
According to IDEA, there are thirteen types of disabilities which can qualify a student to receive special education services. They are: Autism, deafness, deaf-blindness, hearing impairment(s), orthopedic impairments, serious emotional disturbance, mental retardation, speech or language impairments, traumatic brain injury, specific learning disability, other health impairment, and multiple disabilities. http://theparentaladvocate
Regulations of IDEA detail these disabilities, all of which must adversely affect the student’s individual educational performance. Autism is described as a developmental incapacity notably affecting non-verbal/verbal communication, and social behaviors, usually before three years old. Deafness is a very severe hearing impairment that affects processing linguistic information through hearing. Deaf-Blindess is referred to as hearing and visual impairments simultaneously causing severe educational, developmental, and communication problems. Hearing Impairment is defined as a fluctuating or permanent hearing problem. Orthopedic Impairment includes impairments caused by disease, a congenital anomaly, and impairments from other causes. Serious Emotional Disturbance is classified by inabilities to learn that can’t be explained by sensory issues, health factors, or intelligence, and inabilities in creating and keeping interpersonal relationships with teachers and/or peers. In addition, serious emotional disturbance includes behavior or feelings of innappropriate types under what is considered normal circumstances, and an overall mood of unhappiness accompanied by an inclination to develop fears or physical symptoms connected with school or personal problems. Mental Retardation is described as below average intellectual functioning along with deficits in adaptive behavior that manifest during the developmental years. A Speech or Language Impairment is a disorder in communication, such as impaired articulation, stuttering, a voice impairment, or a language impairment. Traumatic Brain Injury is caused by an outside force which results in complete or partial disability. Specific Learning Disability refers to a disorder in one or more of the fundamental psychological processes involving understanding and/or using written or spoken language. Other Health Impairment includes any limited abilities due to chronic health issues, such as Attention Deficit Disorder. Multiple Disabilities are combined disabilities that cause severe educational issues. http://theparentaladvocateIf a students is identified with any of these conditions, he/she can receive special education services in an IDEA participating school.