Types of Disabilities

Special Education Certifications and/or Impairments

The Revised Administrative Rules for Special Education, approved by the Michigan State Board of Education, define the types of special education certifications/disabilities for which special education services are provided. A description of each impairment follows:

* (SLI) Speech and Language Impaired - Students unable to understand or use language may have speech or language impairments. This type of handicap may interfere with learning or social adjustment in school. These students may be recognized by a number of symptoms including poor listening skills, unclear speech, slow vocabulary development, immaturity in grammar, difficulties conversing with others, unusual loudness or quality of voice or stuttering (Rule 340.1710).

* (LD) Specific Learning Disability - The student has not been successful with school work because a severe discrepancy exists between achievement and intellectual ability. These problems interfere with the student's ability to listen, think, spell, speak, read, write or do math calculations (Rule 340.1713).

* (EI) Emotional Impairment - The student's behavior in the school and in the community is inappropriate under normal circumstances (i.e., withdrawn or disruptive) over a long period of time, and whose emotional problems interfere with the student's learning (Rule 340.1706).

* (CI) Cognitive Impairment - The student who has a mild cognitive (MiCi) impairment has difficulty with regular school assignments because of slower development in learning than other students the same age. The student scored below average on reading, math, and I.Q. tests. However, the student may be capable of learning some academic skills, receiving vocational training, completing high school and obtaining gainful employment.

The student with a moderate cognitive impairment (MoCi) develops much more slowly in learning than other students the same age and scores much below average on I.Q. tests. Goals may focus on daily living skills, health and safety, communication and prevocational training.
The student with a severe cognitive impairment has a great deal of difficulty with intellectual skills (Rule 340.1705).

* (SXI) Severe Multiple Impairment - The students with multiple impairments have more than one handicap in both intellectual and functional abilities (Rule 340.1714).

* (ECDD) Early Childhood Developmental Delay - A child through 7 years of age whose development is significantly delayed in one or more areas (Rule 340.1711).

* (PI) Physical Impairment - A student with severe orthopedic impairment determined by a physician. The physical impairment interferes with the student's learning and may require physical adaptation, special materials and equipment (Rule 340.1709).

* (OHI) Other Health Impairment - A chronic or acute health problem that interferes with the student's learning (Rule 340.1709a).

* (HI) Hearing Impairment - A loss of hearing interferes with the student's learning (Rule 340.1707).

* (VI) Visual Impairment - A loss of sight interferes with the student's learning. It is required that the student's visual acuity is 20/70 or less in the better eye, after correction, or a peripheral field of vision restricted to not more than 20 degrees (Rule 340.1708).

* (AI) Autism - Students with an autistic impairment have a lifelong developmental disability characterized by difficulties with thinking, socializing, body movements, language and speech development. Specifically, these students prefer routine, are slow to develop meaningful communication, respond differently to sensory stimuli, and display stereotyped play patterns and repetitive movements (Rule 340.1715).

* (TBI) Traumatic Brain Injury - Students with a traumatic brain injury have impairment that is the result of an external force (Rule 340.1716).

Information was obtained from the Special Education Parent Handbook for Genesee County School Districts, provided through Genesee Intermediate School District. 

For further information, please contact the Office of Student Services at (810)591-5222.

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