602 F Street
LaPorte, IN 46350
Phone: 219-324-3287
Fax: 219-326-7611

Disabilities

We are governed by IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) at the federal level and by Article 7 at the state level.  These laws recognize 13 areas of eligibility:

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong developmental disability that includes autistic disorder, Asperger’s 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 is generally evident before three (3) years of age and significantly affects verbal, nonverbal, or pragmatic communication and social interaction skills and results in an adverse effect on the student’s educational performance.  Other characteristics often associated include:

  1. Engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements
  2. Resistance to environmental change or change in daily routine
  3. Unusual responses to sensory experiences.

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Blind or Low Vision (BLV)

“Blind or low vision”, which may be referred to as a visual impairment, means a disability that even with the best correction affects the student’s ability to use vision for learning, which adversely affects the student’s educational performance.  The term includes a reduced ability or a complete inability to utilize the visual system to acquire information, and may include or be limited to a reduction in field of vision.

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Cognitive Disability (CD)

A cognitive disability:

  1. is manifested during the developmental period
  2. is characterized by significant limitations in cognitive functioning
  3. is demonstrated through limitations in adaptive behavior; and
  4. adversely affects educational performance

A student with a mild cognitive disability has cognitive functioning that generally falls two (2) standard deviations below the mean and manifests delays in adaptive behavior consistent with the mild cognitive disability.  A student with a moderate cognitive disability has cognitive functioning that generally falls three (3) standard deviations below the mean and manifests delays in adaptive behavior consistent with the moderate cognitive disability.  A student with severe cognitive disability has cognitive functioning and adaptive behavior skills that generally fall four (4) or more standard deviations below the mean and manifests delays in adaptive behavior consistent with the severe cognitive disability.

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Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH)

“Deaf or hard of hearing”, which may be referred to as a hearing impairment, is a disability that, with or without amplification, adversely affects the student’s ability to use hearing for development language and learning, educational performance and developmental progress.  The hearing loss may be permanent or fluctuating, mild to profound, or unilateral and bilateral.  Students who are deaf or hard of hearing may use spoken language, sign language or a combination of spoken language and signed systems.

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Deaf-Blind (DB)

“Deaf-blind”, which may be referred to as dual sensory impaired, means a disability that:

  1. is a concomitant hearing and vision loss or reduction in functional hearing and vision capacity
  2. causes significant communication and adaptive behavior deficits
  3. adversely affects the student’s educational performance; and
  4. cannot be accommodated for by use of a program or service designed solely for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, or blind or have low vision. 

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Developmental Delay (early childhood only) (DD)

Developmental delay is a disability category solely for students who are at least three (3) years of age and not more than five (5) years of age, or five (5) years of age but not eligible to enroll in kindergarten.  Developmental delay means a delay of either two (2) standard deviations below the mean in one (1) of the following developmental areas or one and one-half (1.5) standard deviations below the mean in any two (2) of the following developmental areas: 

  1. Gross or fine motor development
  2. Cognitive development
  3. Receptive or expressive language development
  4. Social or emotional development
  5. Self-help or other adaptive development

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Emotional Disability (ED)

“Emotional disability” means an inability to learn or progress that cannot be explained by cognitive, sensory, or health factors.  The student exhibits one (1) or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects educational performance: 

  1. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems
  2. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression
  3. An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships
  4. Inappropriate behaviors or feelings under normal circumstances
  5. Episodes of psychosis

Language or Speech Impairment (LSI)

A language or speech impairment is characterized by one (1) of the following impairments that adversely affects the student’s educational performance: 

  1. Language impairments in the comprehension or expression of spoken or written language resulting from organic or nonorganic causes that are nonmaturational in nature.  Language impairments affect the student’s primary language systems, in one (1) or more of the following components:  word retrieval, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics
  2. Speech impairments that may include fluency, articulation and voice disorders in the student’s speaking behavior in more than one (1) speaking task that are nonmaturational in nature, including impairments that are the result of a deficiency of structure and function of the oral peripheral mechanism

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Multiple Disabilities (MD)

“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.

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Other Health Impairment (OHI)

“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: 

  1. is due to chronic or acute health problems, such as
    • asthma
    • attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
    • diabetes
    • epilepsy
    • a heart condition
    • hemophilia
    • lead poisoning
    • leukemia
    • nephritis
    • rheumatic fever
    • sickle cell anemia
    • Tourette syndrome
  2. adversely affects a student’s educational performance.

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Orthopedic Impairment (OI)

An orthopedic impairment is a severe physically disabling condition that adversely affects educational performance.  The term may include impairments caused by a congenital anomaly; a disease such as poliomyelitis or bone tuberculosis; or other causes such as cerebral palsy, amputations, or fractures or burns that cause contractures.

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Specific Learning Disability (SLD)

“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 that student’s educational performance, including conditions referred to, or previously referred to, as perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.

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Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

A traumatic brain injury is an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychological impairment, or both, that adversely affects a student’s educational performance.  The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one (1) or more areas, such as the following:

  1. Cognition
  2. Language
  3. Memory
  4. Attention
  5. Reasoning
  6. Abstract thinking
  7. Judgment
  8. Problem solving
  9. Sensory, perceptual and motor abilities
  10. Psychosocial behavior
  11. Physical functions
  12. Information processing
  13. Speech

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