Areas of Disabilities
Disabilities Eligible for Services in Tennessee:
Autism - means a developmental disability, which significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three (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 disturbance, as defined in this section. After age three (3), a child could be diagnosed as having autism if the child manifests the above characteristics. The term of autism may also include students who have been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder such as Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) or Asperger’s Syndrome when the child’s educational performance is adversely affected. Additionally, it may also include a diagnosis of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder such as Rett’s or Childhood Dis-integrative Disorder. Autism may exist concurrently with other areas of disability.
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 by addressing any one of the impairments. 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.
Developmental Delay - means a child ages three (3) through nine (9) who is experiencing developmental delays as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures in one or more of the following areas: physical, cognitive, communication development, social or emotional, or adaptive development, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other disability categories should be used if they are more descriptive of a young child’s strengths and needs. Local school systems have the option of using developmental delay as a disability category.
Emotional Disturbance - means a child or youth who exhibits one (1) or more of the characteristics as listed in the state adopted eligibility criteria over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance.
Functionally Delayed - means a child who has or develops a continuing disability in intellectual functioning and achievement which significantly affects the ability to think and/or act in the general school program, but who is functioning socially at or near a level appropriate to his or her chronological age.
Hearing Impairment- means an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance but does not include deafness.
Intellectual Disability - means substantial limitations in present levels of functioning that adversely affect a child’s educational performance. It is characterized by significantly impaired intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period.
Intellectually Gifted - means a child whose intellectual abilities and potential for achievement are so outstanding that special provisions are required to meet the child’s educational needs.
Multiple Disabilities - means concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness, mental retardation-orthopedic impairment), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated by addressing only one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf/blindness.
Orthopedic/Physical Impairment - means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (i.e., clubfoot, absence of some member), impairments caused by disease (i.e., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis) and impairments from other causes (i.e., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractions).
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 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 an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.
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 - 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 a child's educational performance. The term applies to 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; psycho-social 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.
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.