Other health disability means a broad range of medically diagnosed chronic or acute health conditions that may adversely affect academic functioning and result in the need for special education instruction and related services. The decision that a specific health condition qualifies as other health disabilities will be determined by the impact of the condition on academic functioning rather than the diagnostic label given the condition.
Early intervention for children identified with health disabilities need to address inadequate academic progress due to limited strength, vitality, alertness, endurance, excessive absenteeism and the need to include individual health care procedures during their scheduled school day. It is important that staff be aware of how the health disability impacts on learning and functioning and to provide accommodations, modifications and specialized instruction to allow the child to perform within their capabilities.
Regional specialists are available to assist district teams by:
- Classroom observation and assessment of students with chronic/acute health conditions.
- Review of medical and educational reports and records to determine how and if health condition impacts on learning (often in coordination with school nurse).
- Consult with on-site staff regarding strategies and accommodations to improve function and reduce impact of health condition on learning.
- Transition planning from one setting to another as well as transition to life after high school.
- Attendance at IEP and related team planning meetings.
- Child specific and general in-service to school teams.
- Resource and material distribution to increase knowledge and awareness to school team regarding how health condition impacts on learning and functioning.
- Training to cooperatives/districts to increase knowledge and skills of building level staff on other health disabilities.