These criteria for entry into programs of special education for students with disabilities will be used by all members of the multidisciplinary team, who may include school psychologists, speech-language therapists, and other persons responsible for the identification and evaluation of students with disabilities.
The federal definitions for all categories of disabilities have been used, as included in the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). All examiners, however, must be appropriately credentialed or licensed and should have completed training that is directly relevant to the assessment procedure being conducted. Examiners may administer supplementary measures such as curriculum-based assessments to gain additional information.
All evaluation procedures must ensure that the following minimal requirements are met:
Autism is a developmental disability, generally evident before age three, which adversely affects a student's educational performance and significantly affects developmental rates and sequences, verbal and non-verbal communication and social interaction and participation. Other characteristics often associated with autism are unusual responses to sensory experiences, engagement in repetitive activities and stereotypical movements and resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines. Students with autism vary widely in their abilities and behavior. The diagnosis of Autism does not apply if a student's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the student has an emotional disorder. Autism may exist concurrently with other areas of disability.
Autism, also referenced as autism spectrum disorder, for the purpose of eligibility, may include Autistic Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), or Asperger's Syndrome provided the student's educational performance is adversely affected and the student meets the eligibility and placement requirements.
There is evidence that the child has any of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders, such as Autistic Disorder, Asperger's Disorder, PDD-NOS as indicated in the following diagnostic references:
Deaf-blindness means concomitant hearing loss and visual impairment, 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 who are deaf or hard of hearing or children who are blind or visually impaired.
Deaf means a hearing loss that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects a student's academic or functional performance.Hard of Hearing means a hearing loss, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a student's academic or functional performance with or without amplification, but that is not included under the definition of deaf in this section.
A child with developmental delay is a child age 3-9 who has been identified before the age of 7 as experiencing significant developmental delays in one or more of the following areas: physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, or adaptive development: and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services.The term significant developmental delay refers to a delay in a child's development in adaptive behavior, cognition, communication, motor development or social development to the extent that, if not provided with special intervention, it may adversely affect his/her educational performance in age-appropriate activities. The term does not apply to children who are experiencing a slight or temporary lag in one or more areas of development, or a delay which is primarily due to environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage, lack of experience in age appropriate activities, lack of appropriate instruction in reading, lack of appropriate instruction in math, limited English proficiency or the child does not otherwise meet the eligibility criteria as a child with a disability.
Lack of appropriate instruction in reading, including the essential components of reading instruction (defined in section 1208(3) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act;
Emotional Disability means an emotional disturbance defined as a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects the student'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 a serious emotional disturbance.
Intellectual Disability 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.
Multiple Disabilities means concomitant impairments (such as intellectual disabilities-blindness or intellectual disabilities-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.
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, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette's syndrome and adversely affects a student's educational performance.
Orthopedic impairment means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g., clubfoot, absence of some member, etc.), impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).
Specific Learning disability means a disorder in one of 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-Language Impairment means a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, 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 student'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; 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.
Visual impairment, including blindness, means impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a student's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.
Reevaluations for all categories of disability must be conducted at least once every three years and must be conducted more frequently if conditions warrant, if the parents or school personnel request such reevaluations, or if the student's dismissal from special education is being considered.
S.C. Code Regs. 43-243.1