Special Education

Special education means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and instruction in physical education.  The term includes each of the following, if it meets the definition of specially designed instruction:

  • Speech-language pathology services, or any other related service, if the service is considered special education rather than a related service under State standards;
  • Travel training; and,
  • Vocational education.

For information on each disability as defined by IDEA click on the buttons below.  For more extensive information you may call the Department of Elementary And Secondary Education at 573-751-4212 (main office), or visit their website at www.dese.state.mo.us. 

Autisim

"Autism" means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal or nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age 3, 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.  The term does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disability as defined by IDEA.

Deaf/Blindness

"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.

Emotional Disturbance

"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:

  • An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors
  • An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers
  • Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances
  • A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression
  • A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or social problems

The term includes schizophrenia, but does not apply to children who are maladjusted unless it is determined they have an emotional disturbance.

Hearing Impairment and Deafness

"Hearing Impairment" means an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance, but is not included in the following definition for deafness.

"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.

Mental Retardation

"Mental Retardation" means 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.

Multiple Disabilities

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

Orthopedic Impairment

"Orthopedic Impairment" means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance.  The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (club foot, absence of some member, etc.), impairments caused by disease (poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.),  and impairments from other causes (cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contrachures).

Other Health Impairments

"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, and sickle cell anemia, and adversely affects a child's educational performance.

Specific Learning Disabilities

"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, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations.  The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.  The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

Speech or Language Impairment

"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.

Traumatic Brain Injury

"Traumatic Brain Injury" means 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 the child's educational performance.  The term includes open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem solving, sensory, perceptual and motor abilities, psychological behavior, physical functions, information processing and speech.  The term does not include brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative or brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

Visual Impairment/Blind

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.

Young Child with a Developmental Delay

"Young Child with a Developmental Delay" means a child ages 3 through 5 who is experiencing developmental delays, as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, in one or more of the following areas:  physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, or adaptive development, and who need special education and related services.