To be eligible for special education and related services a child must be between 3 and 21 years old and have one or more of the following disabilities, determined by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA):
  • Autism
  • Deaf-blindness
  • Deafness
  • Developmental delay (for 3- to 5-year-olds, inclusive)
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Hearing impairment
  • Intellectual disability (mental retardation)
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Other health impairment (limited strength, vitality or alertness due to chronic or acute health problems such as lead poisoning, asthma, attention deficit disorder, diabetes, a heart condition, hemophilia, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome)
  • Physical impairment
  • Specific learning disability
  • Speech or language impairment
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Visual impairment including blindness
The disability must adversely affect the child’s educational performance; and as a result, the child needs a special instructional program to address his or her unique educational needs.