This is a continuation of the I.E.P. deconstructed series. There are a couple of different categories that a child will qualify for special education under. This is the L.A.U.S.D. website. It explains some of the terms that you may have been hearing.
**Taken directly from the L.A.U.S.D. website **
Special education is a program designed to meet the unique educational needs of children with disabilities who meet eligibility criteria under the law. Special education services can begin at birth and continue until the age of twenty-two (22). Children may receive special education services under one of the following eligibilities:
- autism or autistic-like behaviors
- emotional disturbance
- hearing impairment
- mental retardation
- multiple disabilities
- orthopedic impairment
- other health impairment
- specific learning disabilities
- speech or language impairment
- traumatic brain injury
- visual impairment including blindness
Preschool children, ages 3 to 5 years old, may qualify for special education services if they have one of the the previously listed eligible disabilities or an “established medical disability.” An “established medical disability” is a disabling medical condition or congenital syndrome very likely to require special education services.
In California, children with disabilities younger than three (3) years of age may also qualify for early intervention which help enhance their development. Children who qualify for early intervention services will receive services from the District if they have solely a visual, hearing, or severe orthopedic impairment. All other children in this age range who exhibit developmental delays or have established risk conditions with harmful developmental consequences will receive early intervention services from their local regional center.
If your child is eligible to receive special education services, you have the right to be informed about all available public and non-public schools or programs. The law requires that to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities be educated with children without disabilities. This placement is called “the least restrictive environment (more next week).”
Here is the website: