Chapter 6.8: Definition of "a Child with a Disability"

    State Performance Plan (SPP):

    (See Overview in the Introduction for more information on the SPP.)

    Intent:

    To provide guidance regarding the eligibility requirements for special education and related services for the 13 disability categories that are part of the core definition of a child with a disability under IDEA.

    Timelines:

    Consent for evaluation

    Within 30 days of receiving a request for an initial evaluation of a child from either the child's parents or a public agency, the school district of residence will either obtain parents' consent for an initial evaluation or provide the parents prior written notice stating that the school district does not suspect a disability and will not be conducting an evaluation. The child’s parents should document the request for an evaluation in writing.

    Conducting the evaluation

    Within 60 days from receipt of parental consent to evaluate a child, the school district will conduct a comprehensive initial evaluation of the child to identify the child’s educational needs and to determine if the child is a child with a disability.

    If the school district is using a response to intervention (RtI) process, the district cannot use this process to reject a referral or delay the provision of a timely initial evaluation because a child has not participated in the RtI process (OSEP letter to State Directors of Special Education, January 21, 2011).
    If the school district has not implemented an RtI process and it receives a request for an evaluation from parents, the school district cannot begin the RtI process apart from the evaluation timeline. The district must complete the RtI process and the evaluation within the 90 day timeline from the date of the referral (30 days from date of referral and 60 days from parental consent) unless the district does not suspect a disability. If the district does not suspect a disability, it provides the parents with a prior written notice within 30 days of the request.
    Preschool Note
    School districts cannot require other agencies to use an RtI process when identifying preschoolers with disabilities.

    Exceptions to 60-day timeline: The 60-day timeline for conducting the evaluation does not apply to a school district if:

    • The parents of the child repeatedly fails or refuses to produce the child for the evaluation; or
    • The child enrolls in a new school district of residence after the 60-day period has begun and prior to a determination by the child's previous school district of residence regarding whether the child is a child with a disability. This exception applies only if the current school district of residence is making sufficient progress to ensure a prompt completion of the evaluation and the parents and the current school district agree to a specific time when the evaluation will be completed.

    When the existence of a specific learning disability is being determined, the 60-day timeline also can be extended with mutual written agreement between the parents and eligibility team if additional data are needed that cannot be obtained within the 60-day timeline.

    Evaluation team report (ETR) and documentation of eligibility status

    Within 14 days from the date of eligibility determination or the determination of continued eligibility and prior to the next IEP meeting, the school district of residence must provide the parents a copy of the evaluation team report and the documentation of determination of eligibility or continued eligibility.

    REQUIREMENT

    3301-51-01
    (B) Definitions
    (10)(d) Definitions of disability terms. The terms used in this definition of a "child with a disability" are defined as follows:

    (i) "Autism" means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. 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.
    (a) Autism does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance, as defined in paragraph (B)(10)(d)(v) of this rule.
    (b) A child who manifests the characteristics of autism after age three could be identified as having autism if the criteria in paragraph (B)(10)(d)(i) of this rule are satisfied.
    (ii) "Cognitive disability" (mental retardation) means 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. This definition replaces the definition of mental retardation in 34 C.F.R. 300.8(c)(6) (October 13, 2006) and shall be used instead whenever the federal regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 300 (October 23, 2006), state statutes at Chapter 3323, of the Revised Code, or the state rules in Chapter 3301-51 of the Administrative Code refer to mental retardation or cognitive disability.
    (a) "Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning" refers to an intelligence quotient of seventy or below as determined through a measure of cognitive functioning administered by a school psychologist or a qualified psychologist using a test designed for individual administration. Based on a standard error of measurement and clinical judgment, a child may be determined to have significant subaverage general intellectual functioning with an intelligence quotient not to exceed seventy-five.
    (b) "Deficits in adaptive behavior" means deficits in two or more applicable skill areas occurring within the context of the child's environments and typical of the child's chronological age peers.
    (c) A child who was identified by an Ohio school district as having a developmental handicap prior to July 1, 2002 shall be considered a child with a disability if the child continues to meet the definition of "developmentally handicapped" in paragraph "N." of former rule 3301-51-01 of the Administrative Code and the eligibility requirements of paragraph "F.1" of former rule 3301-51-04 of the Administrative Code that are both contained in the "Rules for the Education of Handicapped Children," which were effective July 1,1982 and were rescinded July 1, 2002. A child who meets these provisions shall be eligible to receive special education and related services in accordance with the "Operating Standards for Ohio’s Schools Serving Children with Disabilities" effective July 1, 2008.
    (iii) "Deaf-blindness" means concomitant 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.
    (iv) "Deafness" means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification that adversely affects a child's educational performance.
    (vi) "Hearing impairment" means an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness in this rule.

    3301-51-06
    (J) Additional procedures for identifying children with deafness or hearing impairment
    A group of qualified professionals and the parents of the child may determine the child has deafness or a hearing impairment if the child exhibits:

    (1) An average pure tone hearing loss of fifty decibels or greater, according to the “American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Guidelines for the Audiologic Assessment of Children From Birth to Five Years of Age” (2004) for children from birth to five years of age or according to the "American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Guidelines for Manual Pure- Tone Threshold Audiometry" (2005) for children six through twenty-one years of age, for the frequencies five hundred, one thousand, and two thousand hertz in the better ear; [The guidelines referenced in paragraph (J)(1) of this rule are available at www.asha.org.]
    (2) An average pure tone hearing loss of twenty-five decibels or greater (ASHA) for the frequencies five hundred, one thousand, and two thousand hertz in the better ear, which has an adverse effect upon the child's educational performance related to documented evidence of:
    (a) A more severe hearing loss during the developmental years than is currently measured;
    (b) A history of chronic medical problems that have resulted in fluctuating hearing, presently or in the past; or
    (c) A delay in diagnosis, provision of amplification, or initiation of special programming.
    (3) A hearing loss in excess of twenty-five decibels (ASHA) for the frequencies one thousand hertz through eight thousand hertz in the better ear, resulting in such poor auditory discrimination that it has an adverse effect upon the child’s educational performance.

    3301-51-01
    (B) Definitions
    (10)(d) Definitions of disability terms. The terms used in this definition of a "child with a disability" are defined as follows:(continued)
    (v) "Emotional disturbance" means 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:

    (a) An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
    (b) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
    (c) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
    (d) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression;
    (e) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
    (f) Emotional disturbance includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance under paragraph (B)(10)(d)(v) of this rule.

    (vii) "Multiple disabilities" means concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness or mental retardation-orthopedic impairment), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. "Multiple disabilities" does not include deaf-blindness.

    (viii) "Orthopedic impairment" means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).

    3301-51-06
    (I) Additional procedures for identifying children with multiple disabilities
    A group of qualified professionals and the parents of the child may determine the child has multiple disabilities if the child exhibits:

    (1) A combination of two or more areas of disability as defined in rule 3301-51-01 of the Administrative Code, except for a combination that includes a specific learning disability; and
    (2) A severe or profound deficit in communication or adaptive behavior documented through the use of individually administered standardized instruments which have been validated for the specific purpose of measuring communication or adaptive behavior.

    3301-51-01
    (B) Definitions
    (10)(d) Definitions of disability terms. The terms used in this definition of a "child with a disability" are defined as follows:
    (ix) "Other health impairment" means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that result in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment. These chronic or acute health problems must adversely affect a child’s educational performance, that:

    (a) 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
    (b) Adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

    (x) Specific learning disability

    (a) General. "Specific learning disability" means 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 the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculation, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.
    (b) Disorders not included. Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

    (xi) "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.

    (xii) "Traumatic brain injury" means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force or by other medical conditions, including but not limited to stroke, anoxia, infectious disease, aneurysm, brain tumors and neurological insults resulting from medical or surgical treatments. The injury results in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries, as well as to other medical conditions that result in acquired brain injuries. The injuries result 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. This definition replaces the definition of traumatic brain injury in 34 C.F.R. 300.8(c)(12) (October 13, 2006) and shall be used instead whenever the federal regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 300 (October 13, 2006), state statutes at Chapter 3323, of the Revised Code, or the state rules in Chapter 3301-51 of the Administrative Code refer to traumatic brain injury.

    (xiii) "Visual impairment" including blindness means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness. Visual impairment for any child means:

    (a) A visual impairment, not primarily perceptual in nature, resulting in a measured visual acuity of 20/70 or poorer in the better eye with correction; or
    (b) A physical eye condition that affects visual functioning to the extent that special education placement, materials and/or services are required in an educational setting.

    3301-51-11
    (C) Eligibility
    (6)A school district may choose to use the term "developmental delay" under the following conditions for children ages three through five who are experiencing developmental delays and who, by reason thereof, need special education and related services:

    (a) The applicability of the term shall be based upon the individual needs of the child as determined by the evaluation team or the IEP team and other qualified professionals;
    (b) In addition to the assessments required in paragraph (C)(1) of this rule, results of appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures may also be used to help make the determination that a child has a "developmental delay." A developmental delay may be substantiated by a delay of two standard deviations below the mean in one or more of the areas of development or 1.5 standard deviations below the mean in two or more of the areas of development listed in paragraphs (C)(6)(b)(i) to (C)(6)(b)(v) of this rule. The results shall not be used as the sole factor in making the determination that a child has a developmental delay.
    "Developmental delay" means a child of three to five years who is experiencing a delay as determined by an evaluation team, IEP team, and other qualified professionals in one or more of the following areas of development:
    (i) Physical development;
    (ii) Cognitive development;
    (iii) Communication development;
    (iv) Social or emotional development; or
    (v) Adaptive development.
    (c) The term "developmental delay" may be used only after considering the applicability of the categories provided in paragraphs (C)(5)(a) to (C)(5)(m) of rule 3301-51-11; and
    (d) The term "developmental delay" may be used in place of the following disability categories:
    (i) Cognitive disability;
    (ii) Emotional disturbance;
    (iii) Speech or language impairment.

    (A child with a developmental delay that requires special education and related services may be determined in accordance with this rule to be a child with a disability.)


    Ohio’s Education Management Information System (EMIS) Guidelines, July 2001
    Glossary
    Keyword Definitions

    Other health handicapped-major: A child may be identified as "other health handicapped-major" if the child's condition meets the definition of "other health impaired" listed elsewhere in the glossary and if either of the following apply:
    1. The child is identified as having a medical condition that is among those listed by the superintendent of public instruction as conditions where a substantial majority of cases fall within the definition of "medically fragile child." The current list is as follows:

    When a child has a tracheostomy;
    When a child has a central IV line;
    When a child is on a ventilator;
    When a child requires tube feedings;
    When a child requires percussion and drainage;
    When a child requires suctioning; or
    When a child is oxygen dependent.

    2. The child is determined by the superintendent of public instruction to be a medically fragile child after being petitioned by the district superintendent. If during the first week of October a student does NOT have one of the above conditions, but still has a specific serious medical circumstance (a) requiring physician services weekly, (b) requiring nursing services daily, and (c) is at risk of institutionalization, a school district superintendent may petition the superintendent of public instruction for inclusion of such student in the "other health impaired – major" category for funding purposes.

    Other health handicapped-minor: A child may be identified as "other health handicapped-minor" if the child's condition meets the definition of "other health impaired" listed elsewhere in the glossary but the child's condition does not meet other health handicapped-major criteria.

     

Last Modified: 7/11/2013 4:24:30 PM