Autism Spectrum Disorder:
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that includes autistic disorder, Aspergers syndrome, and other pervasive developmental disorders, as described in the current version of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The disability significantly affects verbal or nonverbal communication or pragmatic communication and social interaction skills, generally evident before age 3, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.
The term does not apply if a child’s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disability as defined in this document.
A child who manifests the characteristics of autism after age three could be diagnosed as having autism if certain criteria are satisfied.
Language or Speech Impairment:
Speech and language disorders which refer to problems in communication and in related areas such as oral motor function. The delays and disorders can range from simple sound substitution to the inability to understand or use language.
Deafblindness is the condition of little or no useful sight and little or no useful hearing. Deafblind people have an experience quite distinct from people who are only deaf or only blind.
Deafblind people communicate in many different ways determined by the nature of their condition, the age of onset, and what resources are available to them. Methods of communication include:
- Use of residual hearing (speaking clearly, hearing aids) or sight (signing within a restricted visual field, writing with large print).
- Tactile signing — sign language or a manual alphabet such as the American Manual Alphabet, or Deafblind Alphabet (also known as "two-hand manual") with tactile or visual modifications.
- Interpreting services (such as sign language interpreters or communication aides)
- Communication devices such as TellaTouch, and its computerized version known as the TeleBraille.
Multisensory methods have been used to help deafblind people enhance their communication skills. These can be taught to very young children with developmental delays (to help with pre-intentional communication) and young people with learning difficulties.
Cognitive Disability Mild to Severe:
Developmental Cognitive Disability is defined as a condition that results in intellectual functioning significantly below average and is associated with concurrent delays in adaptive behavior that require special education and related services.
Emotional Disability means an inability to learn or progress that cannot be explained by cognitive, sensory, or health factors.
Deaf or Hard of Hearing:
Deaf or hard of hearing, which may be referred to as a hearing impairment, means the following:
(1) A disability that, with or without amplification, adversely affects the student's:
(A) ability to use hearing for developing language and learning;
(B) educational performance; and
(C) developmental progress.
(2) The hearing loss may be:
(A) permanent or fluctuating;
(B) mild to profound; or
(C) unilateral or bilateral.
(3) Students who are deaf or hard of hearing may use:
(A) spoken language;
(B) sign language; or
(C) a combination of spoken language and signed systems.
Specific Learning Disability:
Specific learning disability means a disorder in one (1) or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that adversely affect the student's educational performance, including conditions referred to, or previously referred to, as perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.
Multiple disabilities means coexisting disabilities, one of which must be a significant cognitive disability. The coexisting disabilities are lifelong and interfere with independent functioning, and it is difficult to determine which disability most adversely affects educational performance. The term does not include deaf-blind.
An orthopedic impairment is a severe physically disabling condition that adversely affects educational performance. The term may include impairments caused by any of the following:
(1) A congenital anomaly.
(A) poliomyelitis; or
(B) bone tuberculosis.
(3) Other causes, such as:
(A) cerebral palsy;
(B) amputations; or
(C) fractures or burns that cause contractures.
Other Health Impairment:
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 that adversely affects a student's educational performance. 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 are among the health issues encompassed by Other Health Impairment.