Eligibility Categories for Special Education Services
If a child has an impairment that impedes their learning as defined in one of the following thirteen eligibility categories:
Autism – a developmental disability that significantly affects their verbal and nonverbal communication as well as their social interaction, generally evident before the age of three, and adversely affecting a child’s educational performance.
Deaf-blindness – concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannon be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness.
Deaf – 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.
Emotional Disturbance – 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
(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.
(5) Hearing Impairment – 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 section.
(6) Intellectual Disability (ID) – significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
(7) Multiple Disabilities – concomitant impairments, such as ID-blindness or ID-orthopedic impairment, the combination of which causes severe educational needs that cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely by one of the impairments – does not include deaf-blindness.
(8) Orthopedic Impairment (OI) – severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
(9) Other Health Impairment (OHI) – limited strength,
vitality, or altertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental
stimuli, that results in limited altertness with respect to educational
(A) Is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder o 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
(10) Specific Learning Disability – a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may have manifested itself in the the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The basic psychological processes include attention, visual processing, auditory processing, sensory-motor skills, cognitive abilities including association, conceptualization and expression.
More details on specific learning disability can be found in XXX
(11) Language or Speech Disorder – meets one or more of the
criteria listed in the following areas:
(A) Articulation Disorder
(B) Abnormal Voice
(C) Fluency Disorder
(D) Language Disorder
More details on language or speech disorders can be found in Education Code section 56333.
(12) Traumatic Brain Injury – an acquired injury to the brain caused by external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
More details on traumatic brain injury can be found XXX
(13) 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 blindess.
More details on visual impairment can be found XXX
For more specific information on Primary Disability Categories please go to https://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/disablecodes.asp