What is Special Education?

  • Special education is a term used by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  It describes specially designed instruction that meets the individual needs of a child who has a disability. These services are provided by the public school system and are free of charge.
    There are 13 categories of special education as defined by IDEA.  In order to qualify for special education, the IEP team must determine that a child has one of the following:

    • Autism
    • Blindness
    • Deafness
    • Emotional Disturbance
    • Hearing Impairment
    • Intellectual Disability
    • Multiple Disabilities
    • Orthopedic Impairment
    • Other Health Impaired
    • Specific Learning Disability
    • Speech or Language Impairment
    • Traumatic Brain Injury
    • Visual Impairment

    In order for the IEP team to qualify a child for services, the student must be found to have one of these 13 categories of special education and it must adversely affect their educational performance.