Disability Category | Special Education Services


According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a child can qualify for services under one of the 14 disability categories.

 

Autism

  • „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. Fact Sheet PDF icon | Resources

     

Deaf-Blindness

  • „Simultaneous 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 children with deafness or children with blindness. Fact Sheet | Resources

     

Deafness

  • „A hearing impairment so severe that a child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Fact Sheet | Resources

     

Hearing Impaired

  • „An impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Fact Sheet | Resources

     

Developmental Delay and Preschool

  • „For children from birth to age three and children from ages three through nine, the term developmental delay, as defined by each State, means a delay in one or more of the following areas: physical development; cognitive development; communication; social or emotional development; or adaptive (behavioral) development. Fact Sheet
     

Emotional Disturbance

  • „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.
    • A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems. Fact Sheet
       

Intellectual Disability

  • Significantly sub average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Fact Sheet | Resources | Center for Disease Control Fact Sheet

Multiple Disabilities

  • „Simultaneous impairments (such as intellectual disability-blindness, intellectual disability-orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in a special education program solely for one of the impairments. Term does not include deaf-blindness. Fact Sheet
     

Orthopedic Impairment

  • „The term includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures). Fact Sheet
     

Other Health Impairment

  • „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—
    • 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, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome; and
    • adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Fact Sheet
       

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 the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. Fact Sheet
     

Speech or Language Impairment

  • „A communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Fact Sheet


Traumatic Brain Injury

  • „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. Fact Sheet
     

Visual Impairment

  • „An impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Fact Sheet | Resources

 

Helpful Resources

Disability Categories A Web-Based Resource

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disability Categories Resource Guide

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Last updated on June 20, 2014