At a Glance
The law requires that schools
provide special education services to eligible students.
The Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA) covers 13 conditions.
Not every student with learning or
attention issues qualifies.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
requires schools to provide special education and related services to eligible students. However, not every child with learning
or attention issues qualifies. To be covered, a child’s school performance must
be “adversely affected” by one of the 13 conditions below.
For kids with learning and attention issues, two of these
conditions are the most relevant. They are “specific learning disability”
and “other health impairment.”
1. Specific learning disability (SLD)
The umbrella term “SLD” covers a specific group of learning
issues. The conditions in this group affect a child’s ability to read, write,
listen, speak, reason or do math. Here are some of the issues that could fall
in this group:
· Auditory processing disorder
· Nonverbal learning disability
2. Other health impairment
The umbrella term “other health impairment” covers
conditions that limit a child’s strength, energy or alertness. One example is
an attention issue like ADHD.
3. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
ASD is a developmental disability. It covers a wide
range of symptoms and skills, but mainly affects a child’s social and
communication skills. It can also influence behavior.
4. Emotional disturbance
Children covered under the term “emotional disturbance” can
have a number of mental disorders. They may include anxiety disorder,
schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression.
(Some of these issues may also be covered under “other health impairment.”)
5. Speech or language impairment
The umbrella term “speech or language impairment” covers a
number of communication problems. Those include stuttering, impaired
articulation, language impairment or voice impairment.
6. Visual impairment, including blindness
A child who has vision problems is considered to have a
visual impairment. This condition includes both partial sight and blindness. If
eyewear can correct a vision problem, then it doesn’t qualify.
Children with a diagnosis of deafness have a severe hearing
impairment. They aren’t able to process language through hearing.
8. Hearing impairment
The term “hearing impairment” refers to a hearing loss not
covered by the definition of deafness. This type of loss can change or
fluctuate over time. Remember that being hard of hearing is not the same as having an auditory processing disorder.
Children with a diagnosis of deaf-blindness have both
hearing and visual impairments. Their communication and other needs are so
great that programs for the deaf or blind can’t meet them.
10. Orthopedic impairment
Any impairment to a child’s body, no matter what the cause,
is considered an orthopedic impairment.
11. Intellectual disability
Children with this type of disability have below-average
intellectual ability. They may also have poor communication, self-care and
social skills. Down syndrome is one example of an intellectual disability.
12. Traumatic brain injury
This is a brain injury is caused by an accident or some kind
of physical force.
13. Multiple disabilities
A child with multiple disabilities has more than one
condition covered by IDEA. Having multiple issues creates educational needs that
can’t be met in a program for any one condition.
Accommodations are changes that can be made in the way the
student accesses information and demonstrates performance.
Questions can be a constant source of irritation for the learning disabled student. Fortunately, there are many techniques available that can relieve this irritation:
- ask more common type questions,
- ask fewer questions,
- reword in easier terms,
- avoid essay type questions,
- utilize matching,true or false and multiple choice types of questions,
- allow more time for response.
If these choices do not appeal to you, you may want to try one or more of these options.
Next to the question, write down on what page the information may be found. This would work really well on information that has been color-coded.
Number the paragraphs of a chapter and cue answer with number of paragraph.
Same as above, but underline or color code the answer in the paragraph.
As questions occur, either within the context of the chapter or at the end of the chapter, list the questions with the correct answer. Record the page number where the question/answer may be found.