Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that affects an individual's ability to communicate (e.g., the ability to use language to express one's needs) and the ability to engage in social interaction (e.g., the ability to engage in joint attention). This disability significantly affects verbal/nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. Often other characteristics associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance. The child’s performance, strengths, skills, deficits, and challenges associated with ASD will vary greatly from child to child.
Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and/or colors
- Resistance to minor changes in routine or surroundings
- Delayed language development
- Loss of previously acquired speech or social skills
- Persistent repetition of words or phrases (echolalia)
- Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings
- Avoidance of eye contact
- Persistent preference for solitude
- Restricted interests
- Repetitive behaviors
ISBE Special Education Autism Supports
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 children with deafness or children with blindness.
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 educational performance. Deaf and Visually Impaired web page
Children aged three through nine experiencing developmental delays include a child— (1) Who is experiencing developmental delays, as defined by the State and as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, in one or more of the following areas: Physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, or adaptive development; and (2) Who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services.
Emotional Disability (includes schizophrenia but does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an 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's educational performance:
- An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors;
- An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;
- Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances;
- A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or
- A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
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. Deaf and Visually Impaired web page
Intellectual Disability means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.
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.
Orthopedic Impairment means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g., clubfoot, absence of some member, etc.), impairments caused by disease (e.g., Poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes ( e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).
Other Health Impairment
means having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened sensitivity to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment that
- 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, or sickle cell anemia; and
- adversely affects a child's educational performance.
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 manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of intellectual disability, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
In accordance with 23 Illinois Administrative Code 226.130, Illinois districts are required to use a process that determines how a child responds to scientific, research-based interventions as part of the evaluation procedures, as described in 34 CFR 300.304, to determine special education eligibility under the category of specific learning disability (SLD). While this requirement is specific to SLD, districts also have the option of using such a process as part of the evaluation procedures for other disability categories.
The documents below address Illinois’ procedures and criteria for special education eligibility and entitlement decisions in an RtI framework.
Speech or Language Impairment
means a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. Listed below are related sites for speech-language:
- Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
- Speech-Language Pathology Services encompass such activities as:
- Screening, diagnosis and appraisal of specific speech and language impairments;
- Identification of children with speech and/or language impairments;
- Referral and follow-up for medical or other professional attention necessary for the habilitation of speech and language impairments;
- Planning and developing interventions and programs for children or youth with speech and language impairments;
- Provisions of services for the habilitation and prevention of speech and language impairments; and
- Counseling and guidance of parents, children, and teachers regarding speech and language impairments.
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. The term applies 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; psychosocial functions; information processing; and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.
Visual Impairment means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.
Deaf and Visually Impaired web page