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Types of Classifications of Children with a Disability

1. Learning disability (LD) is a disorder related to processing information that leads to difficulties in reading, writing, and computing; the most common disability, accounting for half of all students receiving special education.

2. Speech or language impairment is a disorder related to accurately producing the sounds of language or meaningfully using language to communicate. A speech impairment is characterized by difficulty in articulation of words. Examples include stuttering or problems producing particular sounds.

A language impairment is a specific impairment in understanding and sharing thoughts and ideas, i.e. a disorder that involves the processing of linguistic information. Problems that may be experienced can involve the form of language, including grammar, morphology, syntax; and the functional aspects of language, including semantics and pragmatics Sometimes a child will have both language and speech delays. Speech or language impairment is one of the categories of disability specified in IDEA. This means that a child with a speech or language impairment may be eligible for special education and related services if it adversely affects their education.

Speech and language skills develop in childhood according to fairly well-defined milestones. Parents and other care givers may become concerned if a child’s language seems noticeably behind (or different from) the language of same -aged peers. This may motivate parents to investigate further and, eventually, to have the child evaluated by a professional. Children may hear or see a word but not be able to understand its meaning. They may have trouble getting others to understand what they are trying to communicate. These symptoms can easily be mistaken for other disabilities such as autism or learning disabilities, so it’s very important to ensure that the child receives a thorough evaluation by a certified speech -language pathologist.

Speech and language impairments tend to emerge at a young age, and the earlier a child is diagnosed and receives services accordingly, the more likely that child can outgrow the disability.

3. Mental retardation (MR)also referred to as Intellectual disability, is a cognitive impairment which include significant limitations in intellectual ability and adaptive behavior; this disability occurs in a range of severity.

4. Emotional disturbance (ED)involves significant problems in the social -emotional area to a degree that learning is negatively affected.

5. Autism (also referred to as Autism spectrum disorder, is a disorder characterized byextraordinary difficulty in social responsiveness; this disability occurs in many different forms and may be mild or significant. Autism is known as a complex developmental disability.

Experts believe that Autism presents itself during the first three years of a person’s life. The condition is the result of a neurological disorder that has an effect on normal brain function, affecting development of the person’s communication and social interaction skills.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age.

Autism may be mild or severe. All children with autism don’t have the exact same problems. Children with autism may have the following social and communication skills and common behaviors.

Autism is a lifelong problem with a number of possible causes, including but not limited to:

– genetic problems or syndromes
– severe infections that affect the brain (meningitis, celiac disease, encephalitis, etc.);
– exposure to toxins or illness during pregnancy (rubella, chemicals, etc.).

It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colors.

Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.

6. Hearing impairment/Deaf, hard of hearing (DIM) involves a partial or complete loss of hearing.

7. Visual impairment involves a partial or complete loss of vision.

8. Deaf -blindness is a simultaneous significant hearing loss and significant vision loss.

9. Orthopedic impairment (0I) involves a significant physical limitation that impairs the ability to move or complete motor activities.

10. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a medical condition denoting a serious brain injury that occurs as a result of accident or injury; the impact of this disability varies widely but may affect learning, behavior, social skills, and language.

11. Other health impairment (OHI) involves a disease or health disorder so significant that it negatively affects learning; examples include cancer, sickle -cell anemia, and diabetes.

12. Multiple disabilities involves a simultaneous presence of two or more disabilities such that none can be identified as the primary disability; the most common example is the occurrence of mental retardation and physical disabilities.

13. Developmental delay (DD) is a nonspecific disability category that states may choose to use as an alternative to specific disability labels for identifying students up to age 9 needing special education.