Exceptionalities

Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing

A student who is deaf or hard-of-hearing has a hearing loss, aided or unaided, that impacts the processing of linguistic information and which adversely affects performance in the educational environment. The degree of loss may range from mild to profound.

Developmental Delay

For an infant or toddler from birth through two years of age, developmental delay is defined as delay in one or more of the following developmental domains: adaptive development; cognitive development; communication development; social or emotional development; or physical development.

For a child three through five years of age, developmental delay is defined as a delay in one or more of the following areas: adaptive or self-help development; cognitive development; communication development; social or emotional development; or physical development, including fine, gross, or perceptual motor

Dual-Sensory Impaired

Dual-sensory impairment is defined to mean concomitant hearing and visual impairments, or etiology or diagnosed medical condition that indicates a potential dual sensory loss, the combination of which impacts communication, independence, and other developmental and educational needs.

Autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition that reflects a wide range of symptoms and levels of impairment, which vary in severity from one individual to another. Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by an atypical developmental profile with a pattern of qualitative impairments in social interaction and social communication, and the presence of restricted or repetitive, patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, which occur across settings.

Hospital Homebound

A homebound or hospitalized student is a student who has a medically diagnosed physical or psychiatric condition that is acute or catastrophic in nature, a chronic illness or a repeated intermittent illness due to a persisting medical problem, which confines the student to home or hospital and restricts activities for an extended period of time.

Infants or Toddlers Birth through Two Years Old who have Established Conditions

An infant or toddler with an established condition is defined as a child from birth through two years of age with a diagnosed physical or mental condition known to have a high probability of resulting in developmental delay. Such conditions shall include genetic and metabolic disorders, neurological disorders, a severe attachment disorder, an autism spectrum disorder, a sensory impairment (vision or hearing), or the infant's birth weight was less than 1,200 grams

Emotional and Behavioral Disability

A student with an emotional or behavioral disability (EBD) has persistent (is not sufficiently responsive to implemented evidence-based interventions) and consistent emotional or behavioral responses that adversely affect performance in the educational environment that cannot be attributed to age, culture, gender, or ethnicity.

Language Impaired

Language impairments are disorders of language that interfere with communication, adversely affect performance or functioning in the student's typical learning environment, and result in the need for exceptional student education. A language impairment is defined as a disorder in one or more of the basic learning processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language. These include:

Phonology. Phonology is defined as the sound systems of a language and the linguistic conventions of a language that guide the sound selection and sound combinations used to convey meaning.

Morphology. Morphology is defined as the system that governs the internal structure of words and the construction of word forms.

Syntax. Syntax is defined as the system governing the order and combination of words to form sentences, and the relationships among the elements within a sentence.

Semantics. Semantics is defined as the system that governs the meanings of words and sentences.

Pragmatics. Pragmatics is defined as the system that combines language components in functional and socially appropriate communication.

The language impairment may manifest in significant difficulties affecting listening comprehension, oral expression, social interaction, reading, writing, or spelling. A language impairment is not primarily the result of factors related to chronological age, gender, culture, ethnicity, or limited English proficiency.


Intellectual Disability

An intellectual disability is defined as significantly below average general intellectual and adaptive functioning manifested during the developmental period, with significant delays in academic skills. Developmental period refers to birth to 18 years of age.

Orthopedically Impaired

Orthopedic impairment means a severe skeletal, muscular, or neuromuscular impairment. The term includes impairments resulting from congenital anomalies (e.g., including, but not limited to, skeletal deformity or spina bifida) and impairments resulting from other causes (e.g., including, but not limited to, cerebral palsy or amputations).

Specific Learning Disabled

A specific learning disability is defined as a disorder in one or more of the basic learning processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest in significant difficulties affecting the ability to listen, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematics. Associated conditions may include, but are not limited to, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, or developmental aphasia. A specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of a visual, hearing, motor, intellectual, or emotional or behavioral disability, limited English proficiency, or environmental, cultural, or economic factors.

Speech Impaired

Speech impairments are disorders of speech sounds, fluency, or voice that interfere with communication, adversely affect performance or functioning in the educational environment, and result in the need for exceptional student education.

Speech sound disorder. A speech sound disorder is a phonological or articulation disorder that is evidenced by the atypical production of speech sounds characterized by substitutions, distortions, additions, or omissions that interfere with intelligibility. A speech sound disorder is not primarily the result of factors related to chronological age, gender, culture, ethnicity, or limited English proficiency.

Phonological disorder. A phonological disorder is an impairment in the system of phonemes and phoneme patterns within the context of spoken language.

Articulation disorder. An articulation disorder is characterized by difficulty in the articulation of speech sounds that may be due to a motoric or structural problem.

Fluency disorder. A fluency disorder is characterized by deviations in continuity, smoothness, rhythm, or effort in spoken communication. It may be accompanied by excessive tension and secondary behaviors, such as struggle and avoidance. A fluency disorder is not primarily the result of factors related to chronological age, gender, culture, ethnicity, or limited English proficiency.

Voice disorder. A voice disorder is characterized by the atypical production or absence of vocal quality, pitch, loudness, resonance, or duration of phonation that is not primarily the result of factors related to chronological age, gender, culture, ethnicity, or limited English proficiency.

Traumatic Brain Injury

A 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 educational performance. The term applies to mild, moderate, or severe 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; or speech. The term includes anoxia due to trauma. The term does not include brain injuries that are congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma.

Other Health Impaired

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 is due to chronic or acute health problems. This includes, but is not limited to, asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Tourette syndrome, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and acquired brain injury.

Visually Impaired

Students who are visually impaired include the following:

  1. A student who is blind, has no vision, or has little potential for using vision.
  2. A student who has low vision.
  3. A student who has a visual impairment after best correction that adversely affects the student’s educational performance and
  4. A student who has been diagnosed with a progressive condition that will most likely result in a visual impairment or no vision after best correction.