Autism Spectrum Disorder is defined to be a range of pervasive developmental disorders that adversely affects a student's functioning and results in the need for specially designed instruction and related services. Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterized by an uneven developmental profile and a pattern of qualitative impairments in social interaction, communication, and the presence of restricted repetitive, and/or stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. These characteristics may manifest in a variety of combinations and range from mild to severe. Autism Spectrum Disorder may include Autistic Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, Asperger’s Disorder, or other related pervasive developmental disorders. The corresponding definition is found in State Board of Education Rule 6A-6.03023, F.A.C.
A student who is deaf or hard-of-hearing has a hearing loss aided or unaided, that impacts the processing of linguistic information and which adversely affects performance in the educational environment. The degree of loss may range from mild to profound. Florida Department of Education DHH web page
A prekindergarten child with disabilities is a child who is below five (5) years of age on or before September 1 and has a sensory, physical, mental, or emotional condition which significantly affects the attainment of normal developmental milestones. Developmentally Delayed (DD): Ages Birth through Two A child who is developmentally delayed is defined as a child from birth through two years of age who has a delay in one (1) or more of the following areas: * Adaptive or self help development; * Cognitive development; * Communication development; * Social/emotional development; * Physical/motor development The definition is found in State Board of Education Rule 6A-6.03031F.A.C.
Florida Department of Education DD (birth to two years old) web page Developmentally Delayed (DD): Ages Three through Five Years A child who is developmentally delayed is three (3) through five (5) years of age and is delayed in one (1) or more of the following areas: * Adaptive or self-help development, * Cognitive development, * Communication development, * Social or emotional development, * Physical development including fine, or gross, or perceptual motor. This definition is found in State Board of Education Rule 6A-6.03026, F.A.C.
A student who has dual-sensory impairments affecting both vision and hearing, the combination of which causes a serious impairment in the abilities to acquire information, communicate, or function within the environment, or who has a degenerative condition which will lead to such an impairment. Florida Department of Education DSI web page
A student with an emotional/behavioral disability has persistent (is not sufficiently responsive to implemented evidence based interventions) and consistent emotional or behavioral responses that adversely affect performance in the educational environment that cannot be attributed to age, culture, gender, or ethnicity. The corresponding definition is found in State Board of Education Rule 6A-6.03016, F.A.C. Florida Department of Education EBD web page
Established Conditions (EC): Ages Birth through Two Years A child with an established condition is defined as a child from birth through two (2) years of age with a diagnosed physical or mental condition known to have a high probability of resulting in developmental delay or disability. Such conditions shall include genetic disorders, metabolic disorders, neurological abnormalities and insults, or severe attachment disorder. The definition is found in State Board of Education Rule, F.A.C. and 6A-6.03030, Florida Department of Education EC (birth to two years old) web page
Gifted students are those children and young adults whose abilities and potential for accomplishment are exceptional and for whom differentiated educational programs are necessary for development. These students possess the capabilities for outstanding performance in various future pursuits, and they need to acquire the skills of critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, self-awareness, and decision making.“Children and youth with outstanding talent who perform or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment.”- US Department of Education, 1993. Florida Department of Education Gifted web page
A homebound or hospitalized student is a student who has a medically diagnosed physical or psychiatric condition which is acute or catastrophic in nature, or a chronic illness, or a repeated intermittent illness due to a persisting medical problem and that confines the student to home or hospital, and restricts activities for an extended period of time. The corresponding definition is found in State Board of Education Rule 6A-6.03020, Florida Administrative Code (FAC). Florida Department of Education HH web page
Language impairments are disorders of language that interfere with communication, adversely affect performance and/or functioning in the student’s typical learning environment, and result in the need for exceptional student education. A Language impairment is defined as a disorder in one or more of the basic learning processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language. These include: Phonology – Phonology is defined as the sound systems of a language and the linguistic conventions of a language that guide the sound selection and sound combinations used to convey meaning; Morphology – Morphology is defined as the system that governs the internal structure of words and the construction of word forms; Syntax – Syntax is defined as the system governing the order and combination of words to form sentences, and the relationships among the elements within a sentence; Semantics – Semantics is defined as the system that governs the meanings of words and sentences; and Pragmatics – Pragmatics is defined as the system that combines language components in functional and socially appropriate communication. The language impairment may manifest in significant difficulties affecting listening comprehension, oral expression, social interaction, reading, writing, or spelling. A language impairment is not primarily the result of factors related to chronological age, gender, culture, ethnicity, or limited English proficiency. This definition is found in State Board of Education Rule 6A-6.030121, F.A.C. Florida Department of Education LI web page
An intellectual disability is defined as significantly below average general intellectual and adaptive functioning manifested during the developmental period, with significant delays in academic skills. Developmental period refers to birth to eighteen (18) years of age. Florida Department of Education InD web page This classification represents those students previously identified as: Educable Mentally Handicapped (EMH), Trainable Mentally Handicapped (TMH), and Profoundly Mentally Handicapped (PMH)
A student who requires occupational therapy is one whose physical, motor, or neurological deficits result in a significant dysfunction in daily living skills, academic learning skills, adaptive, social or emotional behaviors in the educational setting. A student is eligible only when there is an existing ESE eligibility area and additional support from the occupational therapist is needed to achieve T/IEP goals.
Orthopedic impairment means a severe skeletal, muscular, or neuromuscular impairment. The term includes impairments resulting from congenital anomalies (e.g. including but not limited to skeletal deformity or spina bifida), and impairments resulting from other causes (e.g., including but not limited to cerebral palsy or amputations). This definition is found in State Board of Education Rule 6A-6.030151, F.A.C. Florida Department of Education OI web page
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. This includes, but is not limited to, asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Tourette syndrome, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and acquired brain injury. This definition is found in State Board of Education Rule, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.). Florida Department of Education OHI web page
A student who receives physical therapy is one who requires a specially prescribed program directed toward the development, improvement, or restoration of neuromuscular, or sensori-motor function, relief of pain, or control of postural deviations to attain adequate performance and achieve T/IEP goals in an educational setting. A physician’s prescription is required.
A specific learning disability is defined as a disorder in one or more of the basic learning processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest in significant difficulties affecting the ability to listen, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematics. Associated conditions may include, but are not limited to, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, or developmental aphasia. A specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of a visual, hearing, motor, intellectual, or emotional/behavioral disability, limited English proficiency, or environmental, cultural, or economic factors. This definition is found in State Board of Education Rule 6A-6.03018, F.A.C. Florida Department of Education SLD web page
Speech impairments are disorders of speech sounds, fluency, or voice that interfere with communication, adversely affect performance and/or functioning in the educational environment, and result in the need for exceptional student education. Speech sound disorder – A speech sound disorder is a phonological or articulation disorder that is evidenced by the atypical production of speech sounds characterized by substitutions, distortions, additions, or omissions that interfere with intelligibility. A speech sound disorder is not primarily the result of factors related to chronological age, gender, culture, ethnicity, or limited English proficiency. Phonological disorder – A phonological disorder is an impairment in the system of phonemes and phoneme patterns within the context of spoken language. Articulation disorder – An articulation disorder is characterized by difficulty in the articulation of speech sounds that may be due to a motoric or structural problem. Fluency disorder – A fluency disorder is characterized by deviations in continuity, smoothness, rhythm, or effort in spoken communication. It may be accompanied by excessive tension and secondary behaviors, such as struggle and avoidance. A fluency disorder is not primarily the result of factors related to chronological age, gender, culture, ethnicity, or limited English proficiency. Voice disorder – A voice disorder is characterized by the atypical production or absence of vocal quality, pitch, loudness, resonance, or duration of phonation that is not primarily the result of factors related to chronological age, gender, culture, ethnicity, or limited English proficiency. This definition is found in State Board of Education Rule 6A-6.03012, F.A.C. Florida Department of Education SI web page
Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), Definitions, ESE Policies and Procedures, and ESE Administrators, defines speech/language pathology as a related service to include “identification of students with speech or language impairments; diagnosis and appraisal of specific speech or language impairments; referral for medical or other professional attention necessary for the habilitation of speech or language impairments; provision of speech and language services for the habilitation or prevention of communicative impairments; and counseling and guidance for parents, students, and teachers regarding speech and language impairments.” This definition mirrors the definition found in the regulations for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Title 34, Section 300.34(c)(15), CFR.
A 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 educational performance. The term applies to mild, moderate, or severe, open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one (1) 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, or speech. The term includes anoxia due to trauma. The term does not include brain injuries that are congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. This definition is found in State Board of Education Rule 6A-6.030153, F.A.C. Florida Department of Education TBI web page
Students who are visually impaired include students who are blind, have no vision, or have little potential for using vision or students who have low vision. The term visual impairment does not include students who have learning problems that are primarily the result of visual perceptual and/or visual motor difficulties. The corresponding definition is found in State Board of Education Rule 6A-6.03014, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.). Florida Department of Education VI web page