Individuals with learning disabilities have 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 term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. This term does not include children who have learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; mental retardation; or environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage.
Children diagnosed with a specific learning disability account for 51% of the total special education population and are considered to be included in the category of mild disabilities.
Individuals with speech and language impairments have a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance.
Children diagnosed with a specific learning disability account for 22.2% of the total special education population and are considered to be included in the category of mild disabilities. We will not address this type of student in this course. Typically a child with a speech impairment is served by a speech and language therapist rather than a special educator
Individuals with serious emotional disturbance exhibit one or more of the following characteristics, displayed over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child's educational performance:
This term includes schizophrenia, but does not include students who are socially maladjusted, unless they have a serious emotional disturbance. P.L. 105-17, the IDEA Amendments of 1997, changed "serious emotional disturbance" to "emotional disturbance." The change has no substantive or legal significance. It is intended strictly to eliminate any negative connotation of the term "serious."
Children with severe emotional disturbance accounts for 8.9% of children served in special education and is considered to be included in the category of mild disabilities.
Individuals with mental retardation have 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. The category of mental retardation is further partitioned into mild (MIMR), moderate (MOMR), and severe to profound (SMR) categories. The differentiation between each category is dependent on the extent of the mental retardation.
Children with mental retardation account for 12.3% of children served in special education. However, not all children with mental retardation have a mild disability. Only those with mild mental retardation are generally included in the category of mild disabilities.
Individuals with low incidence disabilities may have orthopedic or other health impairments (OI or OHI), autism, multiple disabilities (MD), hearing or vision impairments (VI or HI), deaf-blindness (DB), or traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Together, these categories comprise 5.6% of the special education population.
These types of disabilities are considered low incidence disabilities and are not included in the category of mild disabilities.