What is Impairment?

Special Education

A child with a disability is a child who needs special education with related services because of any of the following conditions:

Orthopedic Disability
Intellectual Disabilities
Speech or Language Impaired
Traumatic Brian Injury
Other Health Impairment
Significant Developmental Delay
Learning Disabilities
Hearing Impaired
Autism
Emotional Disturbance
Visually Impaired
Orthopedic Disability

Refers to individuals having a severe orthopedic impairment caused by congenital anomaly such as clubfoot or absence of some member; impairments caused by disease such as poliomyelitis or bone tuberculosis; and impairments from other causes such as cerebral palsy, amputations and fractures or burns that cause contractures.

Intellectual Disabilities

Refers to individuals who exhibit significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning manifested during the early developmental period and existing concurrently with defects in adaptive behavior.

Speech or Language Impaired

Refers to individuals with communication difficulties characterized by a delay or deviance in the acquisition of prelinguistic skills, receptive skills. or expressive skills of oral communication.  The handicapping condition does not include problems due to disadvantagement of language systems different from mainstream English, unless the child has a disability in his/her first language system as well as mainstream.  The handicapping condition does not include speech or language difficulties resulting from poverty, neglect delinquency, or cultural or linguistic isolation from the community at large.  Speech and language difficulties may include articulation difficulties, voice difficulties, stuttering and language difficulties involving structure, content, and processing skills.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brian 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, speech and language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, communication, judgment, problem-solving, sensory, perceptual and motor abilities, psychosocial behavior, physical functions, information processing, and executive functions such as organizing, evaluating, and carrying out goal-directed activities.

Other Health Impairment

Other health impairment means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, due to chronic or acute health problems.  The term includes but is not limited to a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, diabetes, or acquired injuries to the brain cause by internal occurrences or degenerative conditions.

Significant Developmental Delay

Significant Developmental Delay means children ages 3, 4, and 5 years of age who are experiencing significant delays in the areas of physical, cognition, communication, social-emotional or adaptive development.

Learning Disabilities

Refers to children who have severe and unique learning problems due to a disorder existing within the child which significantly interfere with the ability to acquire, organize, or express information.  These problems are manifested in school functioning as a severe discrepancy in the ability to read, write, spell, or arithmetically reason or calculate.  Criteria for identification; the child shall meet the criteria in PI 11:35(f) 2.a & b to be considered as having the handicapping condition of learning disabilities.

Hearing Impaired

Refers to individuals identified by medical (Otologic) and audio (logic) evaluations as having a loss of hearing which prevents successful functioning in an educational program without specialized instruction, additional support services, and guidance.

Autism

Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting a child's social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communication, generally evident before age 3 that adversely affects learning and educational performance.  Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements resistant to environmental change or change in daily routines and usual responses to sensory experiences.

Emotional Disturbance

Refers to individuals who have social, emotional, or behavioral functioning that significantly interferes with their total education program and development including the acquisitions and/or production of appropriate academic skills, social interactions, interpersonal relationships or interpersonal adjustment.  The condition denotes intra-individual conflict, or variant or deviant behavior, or any combination thereof, exhibited in the social systems of school, home and community and may be recognized by the child or others.
All Children may experience situational anxiety, stress, and conflict, or demonstrate deviant behaviors at various times and to varying degrees.  However, the handicapping condition of emotional disturbance shall be considered only when behaviors are characterized as severe, chronic, or frequent and are manifested in two or more of the child's social systems, e.g., school, home, or community (one setting must be school).

Visually Impaired

A visual impairment is determined by functional visual efficiency including visual fields, ocular motility, binocular vision, and accommodation.  A visual impairment is determined by a medical evaluation by an ophthalmologist and is of such severity as to prevent successful functioning in an educational program without guidance and accommodation.

  • School District of River Falls
  • 852 East Division Street, River Falls, WI 54022
  • Phone: (715) 425-1800 | Fax: 715-425-1804
  • Email