Emotional Disability (ED)
Within special education law, the term “emotional disability” refers to a child who shows specific thought or behavior patterns and characteristics that impact their educational performance. These characteristics include an inability to learn that cannot be explained by other factors, an inability to maintain relationships, inappropriate responses under normal circumstances, persistent moodiness or depression, or physical symptoms that arise with personal or school problems.
Emotional disabilities can also include short attention span, impulsiveness, acting out, withdrawal from social situations, immaturity, and performing academically below grade level.
For more information on emotional disturbance, please check out the following links.
Other Health Impairment (OHI)
Students receiving educational services under the category of “Other Health Impairment” typically have limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, and they have difficulty ignoring distractions in the classroom. This lack of focus is typically due to a health related problem or medical diagnosis and it adversely affects his or her educational performance.
Typical medical diagnoses that are categorized under OHI include ADHD, ADD, asthma, diabetes, Tourette’s Syndrome, etc.
For more information on OHI please check out the following links.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder are general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized by difficulty with social interactions, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors.
Autism impacts 1 in 68 American children. The impacts associated with the disability can be seen in intellectual ability, motor coordination, attention, physical health issues, and social skills.
The causes of autism are a combination of rare gene changes or mutations and environmental factors that influence early brain development. Children with autism can present a wide range of symptoms, so that is why it is called the Autism Spectrum Disorder.
For more information on Autism Spectrum Disorder, please check out the following links.
Learning Disabilities (LD)
Learning disabilities are not indicative of intelligence or motivation. Students with learning disabilities process information and receive information differently than those without a learning disability. Some students demonstrate a learning disability in reading and spelling and some display a learning disability with math. Each child with a learning disability presents differently.
Some common types of learning disabilities include dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, auditory processing disorder, and visual processing disorder.
To read more about learning disabilities please check out the following links.
Speech or Language Impairments (SLD)
Speech or language impairments are described as a communication disorder that adversely affects a student’s educational performance. This communication disorder can present as a fluency disorder, a voice disorder, an articulation disorder, or a language disorder.
Speech language pathologies and audiology services are identified as related services under IDEA.
To read more information about speech or language impairments please check out the following links.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Individuals with TBI typically acquired an injury to the brain caused by an external physical force that caused impairments in one or more areas such as cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem-solving, sensory, perceptual, motor abilities, psycho social behavior, physical functions, information processing, and speech.
Intellectual Disabilities (ID)
Students with an intellectual disability function below average and typically also have deficits in adaptive behavior that require special education. Students will typically have difficulty communicating effectively, interacting with others, and taking care of themselves.
Although the intelligence quotient is not the only consideration when classifying someone with an intellectual disability, it is a good indicator if the child receives an IQ score of less than 70 that he or she may have an intellectual disability.
Students identified with an intellectual disability are slower than average to learn new information and skills. With appropriate supports, most students with an intellectual disability can live independently as adults.
For more information on students with intellectual disabilities please see the following links.
Multiple Disabilities (MD)
Students receiving special education services within the category of multiple disabilities mean that there are multiple, concurrent impairments which cause severe educational needs. Students with multiple disabilities are typically not able to be served in a program that addresses only one disability, so they typically require specialized programming to address their complex educational needs.
For more information on students with Multiple Disabilities please see the following links.