Which disabilities qualify for special education?

Parent Question
Mar. 14, 2022Updated Mar. 17, 2022

A child is eligible for an IEP if they meet the criteria for one of 13 eligibility categories and if they cannot make adequate progress in school without special education services.

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Deafness
  • Deaf-Blindness
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Other Health Impairment
  • Orthopedic Impairment
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Speech or Language Impairment
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Visual Impairment including Blindness

The 13 categories are explained in detail by Dr. Caitlin Solone, education advocate, teacher educator, and faculty at UCLA, in our article Qualifying Diagnoses for an IEP.

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