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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - 13 Disabilities

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Gail Carlson

on 2 March 2015

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Transcript of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - 13 Disabilities

13 Categories
For Teachers

1. Learning

Learning Disabilities can be some of the most difficult disabilities to discover if you are not looking for it. They can be easily overlooked. LD affects the way a brain receives, processes, analyzes, or stores information. LD's can interfere with the way one concentrates or focuses, other LD's can make it difficult for one to read, write, and do math. People can have more than one LD.
Verbal Learning Disabilities
- The most common verbal learning disability is dyslexia, which causes people to have trouble recognizing or processing letters and the sounds associated with them. Some people can read fine but cannot comprehend what was read and others may have difficulty with writing.
Non-verbal Learning Disabilities
A person may have difficulty processing what they see.

They might mistake a plus sign for a division sign. Someone may have difficulty to identify what the image below is. They are not able to fill in the blank spaces with imaginary lines to complete the image without first drawing the lines in.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
is often associated with learning disabilities because people with ADHD also might have a hard time focusing enough to learn and study. Sometimes medicine can help a person to stay focused and on task but this needs to be a family decision and not a school decision.
The following website is from the Learning Disabilities Association of American and is a great resource for ideas in ways to help a student with specific learning disabilities. Once you have a specified learning disability identified for your student you can find ways to work with that student to enhance their learning experience and environment.

Most LD's fall under 2 categories:

- Verbal

- Non-verbal
Once a student has been identified with a learning disability, it is up to the general education teacher to research ways to better teach that student using effective strategies and techniques in the regular classroom setting. With today's technology, we are able to access so much information and resources that there is no reason why a teacher cannot find ways to work with said student. Many of these strategies and techniques can be helpful to all students as well.
For example: A student has been identified as having an Auditory Processing Disorder; This affects how sound is processed and interpreted in the brain. You notice how the student has difficulty remembering what he has to do for a task but has no difficulty remembering music or environmental sounds. What can you do?
- You could use visual cues or visual aids to demonstrate the steps of the task.
- You could give fewer steps of the task at a time. If the task requires approximately 4 steps, you may give 2 steps then when they finish, you give them the last 2 steps.
- Have them repeat the steps back to you for confirmation that they understand what needs to be done. This doesn't always work but with repetition it can be a good recalling exercise.
The Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for a student with a LD is, in my opinion, the easiest one to implement because many of the strategies and techniques used to help these students can help other typical students with different learning style preferences. Teachers should implement multiple teaching styles to reach all learning styles such as: visual, auditorily, and tactile.

Show or demonstrate the task, state the task, and/or walk through the task with the student then allow them to do the task on their own.
2. Speech and/or Language Impairment
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, defines the term “speech or language impairment” as follows:

“(11) Speech or language impairment means a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.” [34 CFR §300.8(c)(11]
There are different types of Speech & Language Impairments and depending on what we are looking at, you would find some of the following characteristics:
- Articulation Disorder: Difficulty producing certain sounds which makes it hard to understand.
- Fluency: The flow of speech., such as stuttering.
- Voice: Vocal problems could include the pitch, loudness, resonance, or quality of the voice. Sometimes a nasal sound quality exists.
- Language: The inability to use and/or understand words in context. This can sometimes be confused with other disabilities such as Autism or Learning Disabilities.
Some of the reasons a student may be identified with a Speech & Language Impairment could be:
- hearing loss - neurological disorders
- brain injury - intellectual disabilities
- drug abuse - vocal abuse or misuse
- physical impairments such as cleft lip or palate
**Sometimes the cause is unknown

Approximately 1 out of 6 students qualifying for special education services will fall under this category and it doesn't include those identified with other disabilities such as deafness, autism, or intellectual disabilities.
I, personally, have experienced speech & language impairments my entire life due to hearing loss. I have received services with a speech pathologist throughout my primary and secondary education. Interestingly enough, I always thought a speech & language pathologist was only about helping a child to learn how to speak clearly. That is, until I became a teacher and had a conversation with the school's speech pathologist. I learned a lot that year in regards to their services. Some of their services can include:
* Identification of children with speech or language impairments;
* Diagnosis and appraisal of specific speech or language impairments;
* Referral for medical or other professional attention necessary for the rehabilitation of speech or language impairments;
* Provision of speech and language services for the rehabilitation or prevention of communicative impairments; and
* Counseling and guidance of parents, children, and teachers regarding speech and language impairments.
General education teachers can begin understanding their students identified with a speech and language disorder by learning about their specific needs. Not all students identified with these disorders will require outside services. Know that as their teacher you can make a big difference in their educational experience. Watch the following video for more basic things a teacher can do for SLI.
3. Intellectual Disabilities
Students with intellectual disabilities have significant limitations in intellectual ability and adaptive behaviors. They tend to learn at a slower pace, but most of these students can lead independent lives after they leave school, They can hold jobs and fully participate as community members. Some of them will still need lifelong support, whether minimum or extensive.
Having intellectual disabilities does not mean one is not able to learn but they will learn differently and will learn how to become capable individuals. Intellectual disabilities can range from a low extreme to a high extreme. Each individual will be unique in their needs.
Some reasons or causes for intellectual disabilities can range from genetics, birth defects, pregnancy illnesses, prematurity, illnesses, and brain injuries.
Depending on the severity of the intellectual disability, teachers will need to make accommodations according to their needs and what has been identified in their IEP's. Differentiated Instruction would be a good teaching strategy because it allows for flexibility according to the student's skill levels.
Differentiating instruction for those with mild intellectual disabilities could look like the following list of strategies:
1. Encourage them to interact more with their peers to stimulate cognitive & social development.
2. Give more time to complete assignments. Break down assignments into smaller parts.
3. Use aids that help the other senses such as audio textbooks, hands-on activities and games. Use visual organizers and agendas.
4. Create an environment that supports life skills (money in math, household items in science).
5. Provide clear instructions in multiple ways. Establish rules & routines and be consistent.
6. Encourage hands on activities, especially for group activities.
7. Plan curriculum around their strengths. and allow them to be creative.
8. Keep distractions and transitions to a minimum.
9. Modify assessments as needed.
10. Incorporate the community as part of the classoom environment.
4. Emotional Behavior Disability
Emotional Behavior Disability is identified when:
- a student is unable to learn and cannot be explained with intellectual, sensory, or other health factors.
- they may have trouble getting along with peers or teachers.
- moods and behaviors flexuate often.
- anxiety issues may be apparent.
- inappropriate behaviors or feelings in normal settings.

It can be easy to confuse Emotional Disturbances with Socially Maladjusted students. Look at the table in the link attached for more information on the differences between the two issues.

Some disabilities or disorders that may be associated with Emotional Behavior Disability that may impact a child's education can be:
- Depression
- Bipolar Disorders
- Anxiety
Some characteristics of EBD are:
- Hyperactivity (short attention span, impulsiveness);
- Aggression or self-injurious behavior (acting out, fighting);
- Withdrawal (not interacting socially with others, excessive fear or anxiety);
- Immaturity (inappropriate crying, temper tantrums, poor coping skills);
- Learning difficulties (academically performing below grade level).

There are several effective strategies a teacher can implement in their classroom with students identified with EBD. I found a link to a great resource which lists all kinds of characteristics & strategies for the following areas:
- Learning and academics
- Socialization
- Behavior
- Affective Characteristics

The best thing a teacher can do for a student with EBD is to get to know them and understand how they learn. Be aware of triggers for emotional outbursts and try to avoid them before they hit the peak. The following video is a good example of how EBD can be handled in the classroom and how a teacher can prepare for the student.
5. Autism
Autism Spectrum Disorders are identified as having difficulty with communication and social interactions. Usually identified before the age of three but can sometimes take longer for those with higher functioning skills.

The Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can include:
- Autism
- Aspberger's Syndrome
- Pervasive Development Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified
Characteristics of ASD can include:
1. Speech may be delayed or there is no speech at all.
2. Less likely to share experiences.
3. May not understand idioms, puns, or sarcasm.
4. Less likely to initiate conversations.
5. May prefer to be alone.
6. Difficulty in understanding how others think and feel.
7. May walk on their tip toes.
8. May be prone to doing the same thing repetitively.
9. May spend a lot of time lining things up or putting things order obsessively.
10. May have difficulty transitioning between activities.
Strategies to assist students with ASD should be implemented according to individual needs. There should be consistency in implementing the strategies in the home, school, and community.
- Responding to ASD behaviors.
- Fostering Social Interactions.
- Communicate with the student and enhance language skills.
- Modify curriculum to their learning needs.
- Enlist natural support systems.
- Use assistive technology when appropriate.
An example of fostering communication with a student with ASD and non-verbal or with limited language skills is to use augmentative& alternative communication devices. An example of AAC is:
Go Talk Boards:
These can be programmed with pictures of the students most common wants and needs.
The benefits of early intervention for a child using an AAC on the iPad is impressive and wonderful.
Some great intervention strategies for teaching students with ASD in an inclusive classroom setting can be found within the link provided. These strategies help the teacher to focus on the needs of the student at different levels of ASD.

6. Hearing Impairment
Many of the professionals will consider hearing loss to be a language and/or communication impairment due to the inability to understand language which impacts their learning ability.
However, students with a hearing loss have the same range of intellectual abilities as the typical students. When we talk about language here I am referring to the English verbal language.
Early intervention for those with a hearing loss could be considered crucial for learning a language. Language choices can be:
- English oral/speech & lipreading
- Total Communication or Sim/Com
- Signed Exact English
- English with the use of Cued Speech
* Note that the only true languages suggested are English and ASL.
Once a language choice has been decided, the family needs to decide what kind of education setting they want for their child. Do they want them in an all Deaf school? Do they want them placed in a room with only deaf students in the class? Do they want them placed in a regular classroom with either an Ed. Tech., Teacher of the Deaf, or interpreter? These are choices that need to be decided by a team of experts, the parents, and if possible, the child.
Teachers can use some simple techniques in the classroom to make a difference for the students with hearing loss:
- Make sure that your face is visible when speaking, and try to face the child with hearing loss as much as possible.
- Use the buddy system. Have students buddy up so a hearing student may work with someone who’s deaf or hard of hearing. This helps the student with hearing loss know where the class is in the lesson; it can also help a busy teacher.
- Provide context and repetition, which is helpful not only to students with hearing loss, but to other students as well: announce what’s about to happen and recap what’s just taken place.

Teachers can learn about the child's hearing loss and try to understand what they can and cannot hear and/or understand. What works for them versus what is difficult for them. There are some aid devices that can help students with a hearing loss in a classroom setting:
- Hearing aids - Cochlear Implants
- FM Systems - Interpreters
- Computers for captioning
- Many new ones are on the way!
Students with a hearing loss can be from one extreme to another and use various modes of communication. It is important to understand the mode of communication your student is using. In the video shown, the student has a mild to moderate hearing loss and is able to use his residual hearing with the aid of hearing aids and the FM system in his classroom.
7. Visual Impairment
Visual Impairment can be reduced visual acuity (amount of vision), obstructed or narrow field of vision, or failure of visual stimuli to be processed by the brain. Visual impairment may or may not be correctable with the use of glasses, surgery, or other means.
Levels of visual impairments can be categorized as:
- Low Vision: can learn through visual sense (with magnification) and learn at a slower pace then their typical peers.
- Functional Blindness: may use multiple modalities to get around, generally use braille to read and write, and some may have some vision (shadows or light) to help them get around.
- Blindness: near and total blindness is when there is no stimuli from the visual senses and they relay on their other senses to learn.
Lack of vision can significantly reduce learning abilities:
1. Can result in delayed concept development which, without intervention, can severely impact the student's social, emotional, academic, and vocational development.
2. Often need specialized skills as well as specialized books, materials and equipment for learning.
3. Are limited in acquiring information through incidental learning since they are often unaware of subtle activities in their environment.

The educational needs of students with visual impairments cannot be met in a single environment, even with unlimited funding. It is critical that a team approach be used in identifying and meeting these needs and that the team must include staff who have specific expertise in educating students with visual impairments.
Teachers can prepare themselves when a student with visual impairments are to be included in their classroom setting by doing the following:
- Learn what they can or cannot do and what modalities they are using to get around.
- Understand the equipment (AAC) they are using. You do not have to be experts on them but become familiar with them.
- Provide a list of required textbooks and/or syllabi in advance to allow time for arrangements such as texts on tape, or enlarged print.
_ Convey in spoken words whatever you write on the chalkboard or the subtitles on movies and videos.
- Inform them if you rearrange classroom furniture.
- Keep classroom doors fully opened or closed. Do not leave them ajar.
There are some great checklists out there that can be utilized to make sure the student is prepared to transition in to your school and classroom. The image below is part of a checklist from www.slideshare.net.
This is a great AAC tool for a student with visual impairments to use and be in the LRE in any science & mathematics classroom. This is awesome!
8. Deaf-Blindness
IDEA officially defines Deaf-Blindness as “concomitant [simultaneous] hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness.”
There are many causes for deaf-blindness and some of the possible etiology of deaf-blindness are
- Syndromes: Downs, Trisomy 13, and Usher
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Maternal drug use
- Meningitis
- Head Injury
- Stroke
- many more.....
What are some of the impacts on learning with deaf-blindness?

Of the 5 senses we have, vision and hearing are the primary senses in how we learn. When these two senses are impaired it effects the student's learning in:
- Communication & Language
- Movement & Motor Development
- Cognitive Development
- Emotional and Social Development
The educational needs of a child with deaf-blindness are very unique. Teachers without specific training in the area of deaf-blindness may be unable to develop an appropriate program to meet their needs without specialized training and support. Few school districts have even one teacher with this kind of specialized knowledge. However, if their unique learning style is not addressed, the student is at risk for being excluded from the classroom, the family and the community.
Teachers who work with the deafblind have a unique challenge to make sure that they have access to the world. The most important challenge for teachers (as well as parents and caregivers) is to meaningfully communicate. Some basic guidelines for communication include:

- deafblind will need touch in order for them to learn and understand.

- Exploring objects should be done in a "nondirective" way.
- The teacher will need to allow time for the student to respond.
- Understanding their mode of communication, which could be any of the following:
Touch cues, Object symbols, Sign language, Gestures, Picture symbols, Fingerspelling, Signed English, Braille, American Sign Language, Large print
Teachers could learn to use AAC with their students and can teach some curriculum through these devices.
A conversation between a deafblind and sighted person through the use of a deafblind communicator.
I wanted to share this video because it shows many Assistive Devices and gives us a quick look at what the learning environment can be like for the deafblind.
(From Australia)
9. Orthopedic Impairment
Orthopedic Impairment is a physical condition that seriously limit the ability to move or complete motor activities and can adversely affect a child's educational performance.
Orthopedic Impairments can be divided into 3 categories:
1. Neuromotor - Brain deformity, spinal cord, or the nervous system. 2 common neuromotor disorders are Cerebral Palsy and Spina Bifida.
2. Degenerative Diseases - Muscular Dystrophy,
3. Musculoskeletal disorders - rheumatoid arthritis and limb deficiency.
Many students with orthopedic impairments have no cognitive, learning, perceptual, language, or sensory issues. However, individuals with neuromotor impairments have a higher incidence of additional impairments, especially when there is been brain involvement. The impact on learning is focused on accommodations needed for them to have access to academic instruction.
In order for the student to access the general curriculum, the student may need these accommodations:

- Special seating arrangements to help with posture and movements.
- Instruction focused on the development of gross & fine motor skills.
- Obtaining augmentative communication and other assistive devices.
- Awareness of medical condition and its affect on the student (such as getting tired quickly).
- Awareness of the severity to the impairment.

Depending on the severity of the disability students may need assistive devices or AAC. some of the more common devices for Orthopedic Impairments are:
- Communication devices
- Canes, walkers, crutches, wheelchairs
- Specialized exercise equipment
- Specialized chairs, desks, and tables for proper posture development.
Teachers will need to make modifications in the lesson plans. Plan activities in such a way that all children, including the child with the orthopedic impairment can participate. This can be done by adapting the materials you provide, assigning a helper, or allotting a task that they will be able to do independently.
10. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
IDEA defines Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as:

“an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.”
Some of the common traits for TBI:

- Memory difficulties, both short-term and long-term
- Problems concentrating
- Trouble maneuvering, maybe even paralysis
- Struggles with relating to peers

When a students returns or enters school following a TBI they may have difficulty in taking tests and exams, problems with following complex directions, and difficulty learning new skills

Teachers can utilize some of their current teaching strategies with students identified with TBI's, such as:

1. Attention and/or concentration -
- Reduce distractions in the student’s work area.
- Divide work into smaller sections.
- Ask student to summarize information orally that has just been presented.
- Use cue words to alert the student to pay attention.
- Establish a nonverbal cueing system to remind the student to pay attention.
2. Memory - The ability to mentally record and store information and recall it when needed. The short-term memory seems to e the one most impacted in TBI's.
- Frequently repeat information and summarize it•
- Teach the student to use devices such as post-it notes, calendars and assignment books as self-reminders.
- Teach the student to categorize or chunk information to aid retention.
3. Organization - The ability to arrange information, materials and activities in an orderly way is essential to learning.
- Additional time for review.
- Written checklists.
- Written schedule of daily routines.
- Color-coded materials for each class.
- Help planning a class activity.
4. Following Directions - This is critical for completing class assignments and homework.

- Providing oral and written instructions.
- Asking the student to repeat instructions.
- Underlining or highlighting significant parts of directions or written assignments.
- Rewriting complex directions into simple steps.
- Giving directions, asking student to perform the task, checking for accuracy and then
providing immediate feedback.
- Slowing down the pace of instruction
11. Other Health Impairments
IDEA states that:

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—

- 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, and Tourette syndrome; and
- Adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
There is such a wide range of impairments that this term covers that it would be difficult to list all the strategies for teaching students under this disability. As a teacher, the first thing they should do is review the IEP for the student identified with the educational team involved. Begin to make plans to meet those needs per individual.
In general, a student with an OHI can function on the same academic level as their peers, however with their medical condition; the learning process can be more difficult due to prolonged absences, frequent need for nursing services, and other related services. While each student has individual needs there are some general strategies teachers can use in their classrooms.

- Check knowledge through verbal responses.
- Modify assignments only as needed.
- Arrange room to accommodate students’ equipment.
- Look at alternatives for excessive writing.
- Mark or circle correct answers on worksheets rather than filling in blanks.
- Break tasks into small parts.
- Assist with organization of materials and lesson.
- Reduce homework amount, taking into consideration students’ physical ability to complete it in a timely fashion.
- Maintain a communication link with the education team.
- Make appropriate arrangements to accommodate the student’s schedule with regards to personal needs.
- Have a clear understanding of the medication needs of the student.

12. Multiple Disabilities
Multiple Disabilities is when a student will have more than one disability listed under the IDEA Disabilities List. This category does not include deafblind since it already has its' own category. If they were deafblind with another disability listed, then they would fall under this category,
Because there can be numerous combinations for this category the list of characteristics or traits would be quite large. Some of the more common traits could be:
- Hampered speech and communication skills,
- Challenges with mobility and a need for assistance in performing everyday activities.
- Seizures
Some of the common educational challenges will revolve around these issues below:

- Finding a setting suitable to the child’s intelligence level.
- A child’s ability to effectively communicate with teachers, support staff and peers.
- A student’s capability to function in the classroom.
- Assessing and compensating for visual or hearing impairments.

Teachers could help their students with multiple disabilities by reviewing their IEP's. Due to the wide variety of needs it is important for the teacher to communicate with all professionals that can help with accommodating the student within the classroom setting.

For any questions regarding curriculum planning, teachers should talk with the special education teacher.
Because of the variations of needs for individual students with multiple disabilities, teachers will need to research strategies that will help them. I have shared a link here to an excellent blogspot with endless resources & links. I have used them in the past and found it to be very informational. I encourage all teachers to look at this blog.

13. Developmental Delay
Developmental Delays according to IDEA means a delay in one or more of the following areas: physical development; cognitive development; communication; social or emotional development; or adaptive [behavioral] development.
This category has been divided into two parts according to IDEA:

1. IDEA Part C - Is for children from birth to age 3.

2. IDEA Part B - Is for children from age 3 to 9.
From an educational standpoint, developmental delays means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and affects their educational performance:

1. An inability to learn what cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
2. An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
3. Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.

4. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.

5. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
The link above shares many strategy ideas a teacher can use for students with developmental delays. Some of the areas they cover are:

- Physical development
- Cognitive development (intellectual abilities)
- Communication development (speech & language)
- Social and emotional development
- Adaptive behavior (daily living skills)
So, depending on the need of the student and age level, the teacher will work with strategies that will best fit their needs within the classroom. At the same time, many of these strategies can benefit all students and allows the disabled students to feel they are included.
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