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Last Updated: 04/17/2014
 

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 Michigan Special Education Labels (Revised 9/2004 - not changed with 5/2005 revisions to the Rules)

 Now that your child has been labeled, how do you know what criteria the school used to determine which category or categories your child falls under?  The rules have changed!

Choose a category below to find out what each of the categories mean.

 

  Autism Spectrum Disorder

  Cognitive Impairment

Deaf-Blindness

  Early Childhood Developmental Delay

  Emotional Impairment

  Hearing Impairment

  Other Health Impairment

  Physical Impairment

  Severe Multiple Impairment

  Specific Learning Disability

  Speech & Language Impairment

  Traumatic Brain Injury

  Visual Impairment

 

 

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R 340.1705 Cognitive impairment; determination.

Rule 5. (1) Cognitive impairment shall be manifested during the developmental period and be determined through the demonstration of all of the following behavioral characteristics:

(a) Development at a rate at or below approximately 2 standard deviations below the mean as determined through intellectual assessment.

(b) Scores approximately within the lowest 6 percentiles on a standardized test in reading and arithmetic. This requirement will not apply if the student is not of an age, grade, or mental age appropriate for formal or standardized achievement tests.

(c) Lack of development primarily in the cognitive domain.

(d) Impairment of adaptive behavior.

(e) Adversely affects a student's educational performance.

(2) A determination of impairment shall be based upon a comprehensive evaluation by a multidisciplinary evaluation team, which shall include a psychologist.

R 340.1738 Programs for students with severe cognitive impairment.

Rule 38. Programs for students with severe cognitive impairment shall be operated as follows:
(a) There shall be 1 teacher and 2 instructional aides for a maximum of 12 students. The maximum number of students may be extended to 15 if an additional instructional aide is assigned with the placement of the thirteenth student. At least 1 full-time teacher and 1 fulltime aide shall be employed in every program for students with severe cognitive impairment.
(b) Programs for students with severe cognitive impairment shall consist of a minimum of 230 days and 1,150 clock hours of instruction. The first 5 days when pupil instruction is not provided because of conditions not within the control of school authorities, such as severe storms, fires, epidemics, or health conditions as defined by the city, county, or state health authorities, shall be counted as days of pupil instruction. Subsequent days shall not be counted as days of pupil instruction.
(c) Teachers shall be responsible for the instructional program and shall coordinate the activities of aides and supportive professional personnel.
(d) Instructional aides shall work under the supervision of the teacher and assist in the studentís daily training program.
(e) Program assistants may assist the teacher and the instructional aides in the feeding, lifting, and individualized care of students with severe cognitive impairment.
(f) A registered nurse shall be reasonably available.
R 340.1739 Programs for students with moderate cognitive impairment.
Rule 39. Programs for students with moderate cognitive impairment shall be operated as follows:
(a) There shall be 1 teacher and 1 teacher aide for a maximum of 15 students.
(b) There shall be 1 lead teacher and a maximum of 3 instructional aides for a maximum of 30 students, with not more than 10 students for each aide.
R 340.1740 Programs for students with mild cognitive impairment.
Rule 40. Programs for students with mild cognitive impairment shall be operated as follows:
(a) Elementary programs for students with mild cognitive impairment shall serve not more than 15 different students. When an elementary program for students with mild cognitive impairment has 12 or more students in the room at one time, an aide shall be assigned to the program.
(b) Secondary programs for students with mild cognitive impairment shall have not more than 15 different students in the classroom at any one time and the teacher shall be responsible for the educational programming for not more than 15 different students.

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R 340.1717 Deaf-blindness defined; determination.
Rule 17.
(1) Deaf-blindness means concomitant hearing impairment and visual impairment, the combination of which causes severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that cannot be accommodated in special education programs without additional supports to address the unique needs specific to deaf-blindness. Deaf-blindness also means both of the following:
(a) Documented hearing and visual losses that, if considered individually, may not meet the requirements for visual impairment or hearing impairment, but the combination of the losses affects educational performance.
(b) Such students function as if they have both a hearing and visual loss, based upon responses to auditory and visual stimuli in the environment, or during vision and hearing evaluations.
(2) A determination of the disability shall be based upon data provided by a multidisciplinary evaluation team which shall include assessment data from all of the following:
(a) Medical specialists such as any of the following:
(i) An ophthalmologist.
(ii) An optometrist.
(iii) An audiologist.
(iv) An otolaryngologist.
(v) An otologist.
(vi) A family physician or any other approved physician as defined in 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.1101 et seq.
(b) A teacher of students with visual impairment.
(c) A teacher of students with hearing impairment.

 

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R 340.1706 Emotional impairment; determination; evaluation report.

Rule 6. (1) Emotional impairment shall be determined through manifestation of behavioral problems primarily in the affective domain, over an extended period of time, which adversely affect the student's education to the extent that the student cannot profit from learning experiences without special education support. The problems result in behaviors manifested by 1 or more of the following characteristics:

(a) Inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships within the school environment.

(b) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.

(c) General pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.

(d) Tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

(2) Emotional impairment also includes students who, in addition to the characteristics specified in subrule (1) of this rule, exhibit maladaptive behaviors related to schizophrenia or similar disorders. The term "emotional impairment" does not include persons who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that the persons have an emotional impairment.

(3) Emotional impairment does not include students whose behaviors are primarily the result of intellectual, sensory, or health factors.

(4) When evaluating a student suspected of having an emotional impairment, the multidisciplinary evaluation team report shall include documentation of all of the following:

(a) The student's performance in the educational setting and in other settings, such as adaptive behavior within the broader community.

(b) The systematic observation of the behaviors of primary concern which interfere with educational and social needs.

(c) The intervention strategies used to improve the behaviors and the length of time the strategies were utilized.

(d) Relevant medical information, if any.

(5) A determination of impairment shall be based on data provided by a multidisciplinary evaluation team, which shall include a comprehensive evaluation by both of the following:

(a) A psychologist or psychiatrist.

(b) A school social worker.

 

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R 340.1707 Hearing impairment explained; determination.

Rule 7. (1) The term "hearing impairment" is a generic term which includes both students who are deaf and those who are hard of hearing and refers to students with any type or degree of hearing loss that interferes with development or adversely affects educational performance. "Deafness" means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the student is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification. The term "hard of hearing" refers to students with hearing impairment who have permanent or fluctuating hearing loss which is less severe than the hearing loss of students who are deaf and which generally permits the use of the auditory channel as the primary means of developing speech and language skills.

(2) A determination of impairment shall be based upon a comprehensive evaluation by a multidisciplinary evaluation team, which shall include an audiologist and an otolaryngologist or otologist.

 

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R 340.1708 Visual impairment explained; determination.

Rule 8. (1) A visual impairment shall be determined through the manifestation of both of the following:

(a) A visual impairment which, even with correction, interferes with development or which adversely affects educational performance. Visual impairment includes both partial sight and blindness.

(b) One or more of the following:

(i) A central visual acuity for near or far point vision of 20/70 or less in the better eye after routine refractive correction.

(ii) A peripheral field of vision restricted to not more than 20 degrees.

(iii) A diagnosed progressively deteriorating eye condition.

(2) A determination of impairment shall be based upon a comprehensive evaluation by a multidisciplinary evaluation team, which shall include an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

(3) If a student cannot be tested accurately for acuity, then functional visual assessments conducted by a teacher certified in visual impairment may be used in addition to the medical evaluation for determination of impairment.

(4) For students with visual impairment who have a visual acuity of 20/200 or less after routine refractive correction, or who have a peripheral field of vision restricted to not more than 20 degrees, an evaluation by an orientation and mobility specialist shall be conducted. The orientation and mobility specialist shall also include in the report a set of recommended procedures to be used by a mobility specialist or a teacher of students with visual impairment in conducting orientation and mobility training activities.

 

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R 340.1709 "Physical impairment" defined; determination.

Rule 9. (1) "Physical impairment" means severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a student's educational performance.

(2) A determination of disability shall be based upon a comprehensive evaluation by a multidisciplinary evaluation team, which shall include assessment data from 1 of the following persons:

(a) An orthopedic surgeon.

(b) An internist.

(c) A neurologist.

(d) A pediatrician.

(e) A family physician or any other approved physician as defined in1978 PA 368, MCL 333.1101 et seq.

 

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R 340.1709a "Other health impairment" defined; determination.

Rule 9a. (1) "Other health impairment" means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, which results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment and to which both of the following provisions apply:

(a) Is due to chronic or acute health problems such as any of the following:

(i) Asthma.

(ii) Attention deficit disorder.

(iii) Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

(iv) Diabetes.

(v) Epilepsy.

(vi) A heart condition.

(vii) Hemophilia.

(viii) Lead poisoning.

(ix) Leukemia.

(x) Nephritis.

(xi) Rheumatic fever.

(xii) Sickle cell anemia.

(b) The impairment adversely affects a student's educational performance.

(2) A determination of disability shall be based upon a comprehensive evaluation by a multidisciplinary evaluation team, which shall include 1 of the following persons:

(a) An orthopedic surgeon.

(b) An internist.

(c) A neurologist.

(d) A pediatrician.

(e) A family physician or any other approved physician as defined in 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.1101 et seq.

 

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R 340.1710 "Speech and language impairment" defined; determination.

Rule 10. (1) A "speech and language impairment" means a communication disorder that adversely affects educational performance, such as a language impairment, articulation impairment, fluency impairment, or voice impairment.

(2) A communication disorder shall be determined through the manifestation of 1 or more of the following speech and language impairments that adversely affects educational performance:

(a) A language impairment which interferes with the student's ability to understand and use language effectively and which includes 1 or more of the following:

(i) Phonology.

(ii) Morphology.

(iii) Syntax.

(iv) Semantics.

(v) Pragmatics.

(b) Articulation impairment, including omissions, substitutions, or distortions of sound, persisting beyond the age at which maturation alone might be expected to correct the deviation.

(c) Fluency impairment, including an abnormal rate of speaking, speech interruptions, and repetition of sounds, words, phrases, or sentences, that interferes with effective communication.

(d) Voice impairment, including inappropriate pitch, loudness, or voice quality.

(3) Any impairment under subrule (2) (a) of this rule shall be evidenced by both of the following:

(a) A spontaneous language sample demonstrating inadequate language functioning.

(b) Test results on not less than 2 standardized assessment instruments or 2 subtests designed to determine language functioning which indicate inappropriate language functioning for the student's age.

(4) A student who has a communication disorder, but whose primary disability is other than speech and language may be eligible for speech and language services under R 340.1745(a).

(5) A determination of impairment shall be based upon a comprehensive evaluation by a multidisciplinary evaluation team, which shall include a teacher of students with speech and language impairment under R 340.1796 or a speech and language pathologist qualified under R 340.1792.

 

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R 340.1711 "Early childhood developmental delay" defined; determination.

Rule 11. (1) "Early childhood developmental delay" means a child through 7 years of age whose primary delay cannot be differentiated through existing criteria within R 340.1705 to R 340.1710 or R 340.1713 to R 340.1716 and who manifests a delay in 1 or more areas of development equal to or greater than 1/2 of the expected development. This definition does not preclude identification of a child through existing criteria within R 340.1705 to R 340.1710 or R 340.1713 to R 340.1716.

(2) A determination of early childhood developmental delay shall be based upon a comprehensive evaluation by a multidisciplinary evaluation team.

 

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R 340.1713 "Specific learning disability" defined; determination.

Rule 13. (1) ďSpecific learning disabilityĒ means a disorder in 1 or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual impairments, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include children who have learning problems that are primarily the result of a visual, hearing, or motor impairment, of a cognitive impairment, of an emotional impairment, of autism spectrum disorder, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage. (2) The individualized education program team may determine that a child has a specific learning disability if the child does not achieve commensurate with his or her age and ability levels in 1 or more of the areas listed in this subrule, when provided with learning experiences appropriate for the childís age and ability levels, and if the multidisciplinary evaluation team finds that a child has a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability in 1 or more of the following areas:
(a) Oral expression.
(b) Listening comprehension.
(c) Written expression.
(d) Basic reading skill.
(e) Reading comprehension.
(f) Mathematics calculation.
(g) Mathematics reasoning.
(3) The individualized education program team shall not identify a child as having a specific learning disability if the severe discrepancy between ability and achievement is primarily the result of any of the following:
(a) A visual, hearing, or motor impairment.
(b) Cognitive impairment.
(c) Emotional impairment.
(d) Autism spectrum disorder.
(e) Environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
(4) At least 1 individualized education program team member other than the studentís general education teacher shall observe the studentís academic performance in the general education classroom setting. For a child who is less than school age or who is out of school, an individualized education program team member shall observe the child in an environment appropriate for a child of that age.

(5) For a student suspected of having a specific learning disability, the documentation of the individualized education program teamís determination of eligibility shall include a statement concerning all of the following:
(a) Whether the student has a specific learning disability.
(b) The basis for making the determination.
(c) The relevant behavior noted during the observation of the student.
(d) The relationship of that behavior to the studentís academic functioning.
(e) The educationally relevant medical findings, if any.
(f) Whether there is a severe discrepancy between achievement and ability that is not correctable without special education and related services.
(g) The determination of the team concerning the effects of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
(6) Each individualized education program team member shall certify, in writing, whether the report reflects his or her conclusion. If it does not reflect his or her conclusion, the team member shall submit a separate statement presenting his or her conclusions.
(7) A determination of learning disability shall be based upon a comprehensive evaluation by a multidisciplinary evaluation team, which shall include at least both of the following:
(a) The studentís general education teacher or, if the student does not have a general education teacher, a general education teacher qualified to teach a student of his or her age or, for a child of less than school age, an individual qualified by the state educational agency to teach a child of his or her age.
(b) At least 1 person qualified to conduct individual diagnostic examinations of children, such as a school psychologist, an authorized provider of speech and language under R 340.1745(d), or a teacher consultant.

 

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R 340.1714 Severe multiple impairment; determination.

Rule 14. (1) Students with severe multiple impairments shall be determined through the manifestation of either of the following:

(a) Development at a rate of 2 to 3 standard deviations below the mean and 2 or more of the following conditions:

(i) A hearing impairment so severe that the auditory channel is not the primary means of developing speech and language skills.

(ii) A visual impairment so severe that the visual channel is not sufficient to guide independent mobility.

(iii) A physical impairment so severe that activities of daily living cannot be achieved without assistance.

(iv) A health impairment so severe that the student is medically at risk.

(b) Development at a rate of 3 or more standard deviations below the mean or students for whom evaluation instruments do not provide a valid measure of cognitive ability and 1 or more of the following conditions:

(i) A hearing impairment so severe that the auditory channel is not the primary means of developing speech and language skills.

(ii) A visual impairment so severe that the visual channel is not sufficient to guide independent mobility.

(iii) A physical impairment so severe that activities of daily living cannot be achieved without assistance.

(iv) A health impairment so severe that the student is medically at risk.

(2) A determination of impairment shall be based upon a comprehensive evaluation by a multidisciplinary evaluation team, which shall include a psychologist and, depending upon the disabilities in the physical domain, the multidisciplinary evaluation team participants required in R 340.1707, R 340.1708, or R 340.1709, R 340.1709a, or R 340.1716.

 

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R 340.1715 "Autism Spectrum Disorder" defined; determination.

Rule 15. (1) Autism spectrum disorder is considered a lifelong developmental disability that adversely affects a studentís educational performance in 1 or more of the following performance areas:
(a) Academic.
(b) Behavioral.
(c) Social.
Autism spectrum disorder is typically manifested before 36 months of age. A child who first manifests the characteristics after age 3 may also meet criteria. Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by qualitative impairments in reciprocal social interactions, qualitative impairments in communication, and restricted range of interests/repetitive behavior.

(2) Determination for eligibility shall include all of the following:
(a) Qualitative impairments in reciprocal social interactions including at least 2 of the following areas:
(i) Marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction.
(ii) Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level.
(iii) Marked impairment in spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people, for example, by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest.
(iv) Marked impairment in the areas of social or emotional reciprocity.
(b) Qualitative impairments in communication including at least 1 of the following:
(i) Delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gesture or mime.
(ii) Marked impairment in pragmatics or in the ability to initiate, sustain, or engage in reciprocal conversation with others.
(iii) Stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language.
(iv) Lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level.
(c) Restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped behaviors including at least 1 of the following:
(i) Encompassing preoccupation with 1 or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus.
(ii) Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals.
(iii) Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms, for example, hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements.
(iv) Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects.
(3) Determination may include unusual or inconsistent response to sensory stimuli, in combination with subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) of subrule 2 of this rule.
(4) While autism spectrum disorder may exist concurrently with other diagnoses or areas of disability, to be eligible under this rule, there shall not be a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia or emotional impairment.
(5) A determination of impairment shall be based upon a comprehensive evaluation by a multidisciplinary evaluation team including, at a minimum, a psychologist or psychiatrist, an authorized provider of speech and language under R 340.1745(d), and a school social worker.

 

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R 340.1716. "Traumatic brain injury" defined; determination.

Rule 16. (1) "Traumatic brain injury" means an acquired injury to the brain which is caused by an external physical force and which results in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a student's educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairment in 1 or more of the following areas:

(a) Cognition.

(b) Language.

(c) Memory.

(d) Attention.

(e) Reasoning.

(f) Behavior.

(g) Physical functions.

(h) Information processing.

(i) Speech.

(2) The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

(3) A determination of disability shall be based upon a comprehensive evaluation by a multidisciplinary evaluation team, which shall include an assessment from a family physician or any other approved physician as defined in 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.1101 et seq.

 

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