Students with disabilities have physical, mental, or emotional impairments that interfere with or prevent normal achievement in the classroom.
- Specific Learning Disability--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, write,
spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such
conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain
dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia. The term does not
include children who have learning problems that are primarily the
result of visual, hearing or motor abilities, of mental retardation, of
emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural or economic
- Cognitive Disability
(Mental Retardation)--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.
- Emotional Disturbance--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 a child's educational performance: an inability to learn that
cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors; an
inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships
with peers and teachers; inappropriate types of behavior or feelings
under normal circumstances; a general pervasive mood of unhappiness or
depression; and/or a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears
associated with personal or school problems.
concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness or mental
retardation-orthopedic impairment), the combination of which causes
such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in
special education programs solely for one of the impairments. “Multiple
disabilities” does not include deaf-blindness.
- Autism--means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. Other characteristics associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereoptyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.
- Speech or Language Impairment--A
communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation,
language impairment or a voice impairment that adversely affects a
child’s educational performance.
- Hearing Impairment--whether
permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational
performance, but that is not included under the definition of deafness.
a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in
processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without
amplification that adversely affects a child's educational performance.
- Visual Impairment Including Blindness--Impairment
in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s
educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and
blindness. Visual impairment for any child means: • A visual impairment, not primarily perceptual in nature, resulting in
a measured visual acuity of 20/70 or poorer in the better eye with
correction; or • A physical eye condition that affects visual functioning to the
extent that special education placement, materials, and/or services are
required in an educational setting.
- Orthopedic Impairment--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);
impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis);
and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputation,
and fractures or burns that cause contractures).
- Traumatic Brain Injury--An
injury to the brain caused by external physical force or by other
medical conditions, including but not limited to stroke, anoxia,
infectious disease, aneurysm, brain tumors and neurological insults
resulting from medical or surgical treatments. The injury results 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, as well as to other
medical conditions that result in acquired brain injuries. The injuries
result 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 brain injuries induced by birth trauma.
Deaf-Blindness--means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with children with deafness or children with blindness.