Note71: Student Disabilities (2011)

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Indicator 7 uses data from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), which collects information on students with disabilities as part of the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). OSEP classifies disabilities in 13 categories. (For more detailed definitions of these categories, see the part B and C data dictionaries at http://www.ideadata.org.)

Prior to October 1994, children and youth with disabilities were served under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as well as under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B. Data reported for years prior to 199495 include children ages 021 served under Title I. Increases since 198788 are due in part to new legislation enacted in fall 1986, which added a mandate for public school special education services for 3- to 5-year-old disabled children.

Disability Categories

Autism
A developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction that adversely affects a child's educational performance, generally evident before age 3. 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.

Deaf-Blindness
Concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that the student cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness.

Developmental Delay
This term may apply to children ages 3 through 9 who are experiencing delays in one or more of the following developmental areas: physical, cognitive, communication, social or emotional, or adaptive, and who, therefore, need special education and related services. It is optional for states to adopt and use this term to describe any child within its jurisdiction. A local education agency (LEA) may use the term if its state has adopted it, but it must conform its use of the term to the state's use of the term.

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:

Emotional disturbance includes schizophrenia. However, the term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance.

Hearing Impairment
An impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance, but that is not included under the traditional definition of deafness.

Although children and youth with deafness are not included in the definition of hearing impairment, they are counted in the hearing impairment category.

Intellectual Disability
Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

Multiple Disabilities
Concomitant impairments (such as intellectual disability-blindness, intellectual disability-orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that the student cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness.

Orthopedic Impairment
A severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly (e.g., clubfoot, absence of some member, etc.), impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).

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

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 an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. This disorder includes conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; intellectual disability; emotional disturbance; or environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

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.

Traumatic Brain Injury
An acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability, psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term applies to 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; and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

Visual Impairments
An impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.

Preschool Disability
Beginning in 1976, data were collected for preschool age children by disability type; those data are combined with data for children and youth ages 621. However, the 1986 Amendments to the Education of the Handicapped Act (now known as IDEA) mandated that data not be collected by disability for students ages 35. For this reason, data from the 1990s on preschoolers with disabilities are reported separately. Beginning in 200001, states were again required to report preschool children by disability.