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Eligibility Criteria for

Special Education 

To qualify for special education services, a student with exceptional needs must first be assessed in all areas of suspected disability. The assessment must show that the student requires special education. That is, without certain services, the child’s condition would prevent her from performing academic and nonacademic tasks and/or from being educated with non-disabled peers.The qualifying areas of impairment in California include:

  • Autism

  • Deafness

  • Hearing impairment

  • Intellectual disability

  • Orthopedic impairment

  • Specific learning disability

  • Speech or language disorder

  • Deaf-blindness

  • Emotional Disturbance 

  • Multiple disabilities

  • Other health impairment

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Visual impairment

A child may be eligible for early intervention services from birth. At three-years-old until school age, a child may be eligible for special education preschool. The maximum age of eligibility for a student who has not graduated with a high school diploma is twenty-two-years-old. 

Who determines a child's eligibility?

The decision as to whether the assessment results demonstrate that a child's impairment require special education is made by the IEP team, including qualified professionals and the child's parent or parents. The team is to take into account all relevant information available on the child. No single test or score can be used as the sole criteria for the IEP team's decision as to eligibility for special education. 

Parents are equal

participants of the IEP team

The District must ensure that the parents are equal participants of the IEP team who are allowed to fully particpate in making decisions about their child's educational placement.

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