Determination of Eligibility

The IEP team, which includes the parents, meets to consider all available information to determine if your child has a disability and needs special education. Having a medical diagnosis does not automatically qualify a child for special education, though in some cases a medical diagnosis can be part of the information used to determine eligibility. To be eligible for special education, your child must have a disability for which they need special education. A disability is defined as one of 14 categories below.  The disability must adversely affect educational performance and require special education and related services.

    • Intellectual Disability
    • Hearing impairment, including deafness (HI)
    • Speech or language impairment (SL)
    • Visual impairment, including blindness (VI)
    • Emotional disturbance (ED)
    • Orthopedic impairment
    • Autism
    • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
    • Other health impairment (OHI)
    • Multiple disabilities
    • Deaf/blindness
    • Developmental delay for children ages  3 to 10 (DD)
    • Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
    • Specific learning disability (LD)
      • Oral Expression
      • Listening Comprehension
      • Written Expression
      • Basic Reading skill
      • Reading Comprehension
      • Math Calculation
      • Math Reasoning

Once your child is determined eligible for special education and under what category (sometimes called a “code”), the team must provide parents with a Written Prior Notice (WPN) of the decision. The IEP team then has 30 days to begin writing your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Sometimes this happens at the same meeting as eligibility is determined and sometimes it is a separate meeting.

Next Step – Development & Approval of the IEP