Individuals with Exceptional Needs
5 C.C.R. §3030.
(a) A child shall qualify as an individual with exceptional needs, pursuant to Education Code section 56026, if the results of the assessment as required by Education Code section 56320 demonstrate that the degree of the child's impairment as described in subdivisions (b)(1) through (b)(13) requires special education in one or more of the program options authorized by Education Code section 56361. The decision as to whether or not the assessment results demonstrate that the degree of the child's impairment requires special education shall be made by the IEP team, including personnel in accordance with Education Code section 56341(b). The IEP team shall take into account all the relevant material which is available on the child. No single score or product of scores shall be used as the sole criteria for the decision of the IEP team as to the child's eligibility for special education.
(b) The disability terms used in defining an individual with exceptional needs are as follows:
(1) Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, and adversely affecting a child's educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereo typed movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.
(A) Autism does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance, as defined in subdivision (B)(4) of this section.
(B) A child who manifests the characteristics of autism after age three could be identified as having autism if the criteria in subdivision (b)(1) of this section are satisfied.
(2) Deaf-blindness means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for child with deafness or child with blindness.
(3) Deafness means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification that adversely affects a child's education performance.
(4) Emotional disturbance means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child 'educational performance:
(A) An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
(B) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
(C) In appropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
(D) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
(E) A tendency to physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
(F) Emotional disturbance includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to child who are socially maladjusted, unless it is
determined that they have emotional disturbance under subdivision (b)(4) of this section.
(5) Hearing impairment means an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's
educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness in this section.
(6) Intellectual disability means significantly general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in
adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects a child's educational performance.
(7) Multiple disabilities means concomitant impairments, such as intellectual disability-blindness or intellectual
disability-orthopedic impairment, the combination of which causes such severe educational needs
that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments.
Multiple disabilities does not include deaf-blindness.
(8) Orthopedic impairment means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's impairments caused
by disease(e.g. Poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and
fractures or burns that cause contractures).
(9) Other health impairment means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to
environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment that:
(A) Is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome; and
(B) Adversely affects a child's education performance.
(10) Specific learning disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding
or in using language, spoken or written, that may have manifested itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak,
read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including conditions, such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal
brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The basic psychological processes include attention, visual
processing, auditory processing, sensory-motor skills, cognitive abilities including association, conceptualization and
(A) Specific learning disabilities do not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor
disabilities, of intellectual disabilities, or emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
(B) In determining whether a pupil has a specific learning disability, the public agency may consider whether a pupil has a severe
discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement in oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression,
basic reading skill, reading comprehension, mathematical calculation, or mathematical reasoning. The decision as to
whether or not a severe discrepancy exist shall take into account all relevant material which is available on the pupil.
No single score or product of scores, test or procedure shall be used as the sole criterion for the decisions
of the IEP team as to the pupil's eligibility for special education. In determining the existence of a
severe discrepancy, the IEP team shall use the following procedures:
1.When standardized test are considered to be valid for a specific pupil, a severe discrepancy is demonstrated by:
first, converting into a common standard scores, using a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15,
the achievement test score and the intellectual ability test score to be compared; second, computing the
difference between these common standard scores; and third, comparing this computed difference to the standard criterion
adjusted by one standard error of measurement, the adjustment not to exceed 4 common standard score points,
indicates a severe discrepancy when such discrepancy is corroborated by other assessment data which may include
other tests, scales, instruments, observations, and work samples, as appropriate.
2. When standardized test are considered to be invalid for a specific pupil, the discrepancy shall be measured by alternative
means as specified on the assessment plan.
3. If the standardized tests do not reveal a severe discrepancy as defined in subdivisions 1. or 2. above, the IEP team may
find that a severe discrepancy does exist, provided that the team documents in a written report that the severe
discrepancy between ability and achievement exist as a result of a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological
processes. The report shall include a statement of the area, the degree, and the basis and method used in determining the
discrepancy. The report shall contain information considered by the team which shall include, but not be limited to:
(i) Data obtained from standardized assessment instruments;
(ii) Information provided by the parent;
(iii) Information provided by the pupil's present teacher;
(iv) Evidence of the pupil's performance in the regular and/or special education classroom obtained
from observations, work samples, and group test scores
(v) Consideration of the pupil's age, particularly for young children; and
(vi) Any additional relevant information.
4. A severe discrepancy shall not be primarily the result of limited school experience or poor school attendance.
(C) Whether or not a pupil exhibits a severe discrepancy as described in subdivision (b)(10)(B) above, a pupil may
be determined to have a specific learning disability if:
1. The pupil does not achieve adequately for the pupil's age or to meet State-approved grade-level standards in one
or more of the following areas, when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for the pupil's age
or State-approved grade-level standards:
(i) Oral expression.
(ii) Listening comprehension.
(iii) Written expression.
(iv) Basic reading skill.
(v) Reading fluency skills.
(vi) Reading comprehension
(vii) Mathematics calculation
(viii) Mathematics problem solving, and
(i) the pupil does not make sufficient progress to meet age or State-approved grade-level standards in one or
more of the areas identified in subdivision (b)(10)(C)(1) of this section when using a process based on
the pupil's response to scientific, researched-based intervention; or
(ii) The pupil exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both, relative
to age, State-approved grade-level standards, or intellectual development, that is determined by the
group to be relevant to the identification of a specific learning disability, using appropriate assessments,
consistent with 34 C.F.R sections 300.304 and 300.305; and
3. The finding under subdivision (b)(10)(C)(1) and (2) of this sections are not primarily the results of
(i) A visual, hearing, or motor disability;
(ii) Intellectual disability;
(iii) Emotional disturbance
(iv) Cultural factors;
(v) Environmental or economic disadvantage, or
(vi) Limited English proficiency.
4. To ensure that under achievement in a pupil suspected of having a specific learning disability is not due to lack of appropriate instruction in reading or math, the group making the decision must consider:
(i) Data that demonstrate that prior to, or as part of , the referral process, the pupil was provided appropriate instruction in regular education settings, delivered by qualified personnel; and
(ii) Data-based documentation of repeated assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals, reflecting formal assessment of student progress during instruction, which was provide to the pupil's parents.
5. In determining whether a pupil has a specific learning disability, the public agency must ensure that the pupil is observed in the pupil's learning environment in accordance with 34 C.F.R section 300.310. In the case of a child of less than school age or out of school, a qualified professional must observe the child in an environment appropriate for a child of that age. The eligibility determination must be documented in accordance with 34 C.F.R. section 300.311.
(11) A pupil has a language or speech disorder as defined in Education Code section 56333, and it is determined that the pupil's disorder meets one or more of the following criteria:
1. The pupil displays reduced intelligibility or an in ability to use the speech mechanism which significantly interferes with communication and attracts adverse attention. Significant interference in communication occurs when the pupil's production of a single or multiple speech sounds on a developmental scale of articulation competency is below that expected for his or her chronological age or developmental level, and which adversely affects educational performance.
2. A pupil does not meet the criteria for an articulation disorder if the sole assessed disability is an abnormal swallowing pattern.
(B) Abnormal Voice. A pupil has an abnormal voice which is characterized by persistent, defective voice quality, pitch, or loudness.
(C) Fluency Disorders. A pupil has a fluency disorder when the flow of verbal expression including rate and rhythm adversely affects
communication between the pupil and listener.
(D) Language Disorder. the pupil has an expressive or receptive language disorder when he or she meets one of the following criteria:
1. The pupil scores as least 1.5 standard deviations below the man, or below the percentile, for his or her chronological age or developmental level on tow or more standardized test in one or more of the following areas of language development: morphology, syntax, semantics, or pragmatics. When standardized test are considered to be invalid for the specific pupil, the expected language performance level shall be determined by alternative means as specified on the assessment plan, or
2. The pupil scores at least 1.5 standard deviations below the mean or the score is below the 7th percentile for his or her chronological age or developmental level on one or more standardized test in one of the areas listed in subdivision (A) and displays inappropriate or inadequate usage of expressive or receptive language as measured by a representative spontaneous or elicited language sample of a minimum or 50 utterances. The language sample must be recorded or transcribed and analyzed, and the results included in the assessment report. If the pupil is unable to produce this sample, the language, speech, and hearing specialist shall document why a fifty utterance sample was not obtainable and the context in which attempts were made to elicit the sample. When standardized test are considered to be invalid for the specific pupil, the expected language performance level shall be determined by alternative means as specified in the assessment plan.
(12) Traumatic brain 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. Traumatic brain injury apples to Open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech.
(A) Traumatic brain injury does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative or to brain injuries inducted by birth trauma.
(13) Visual impairment including blindness means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.
(Note: Authority cited: Section 56100, Education Code. Reference: Sections 56026 56320, 56333, and 56337, Education Code; 20 U.S.C. Sections 1401(3)(A) and 1414(a) and (b); and 34 C.F.R Sections 300.8, 300.300, 300.301, 300.304, 300.305, 300.306, 300.307, 300.308, 300.309, and 300.311).