Categories of Classification

  1. "Auditorily impaired" corresponds to "auditorily handicapped" and further corresponds to the Federal eligibility categories of deafness or hearing impairment. "Auditorily impaired" means an inability to hear within normal limits due to physical impairment or dysfunction of auditory mechanisms characterized by (c)1i or ii below. An audiological evaluation by a specialist qualified in the field of audiology and a speech and language evaluation by a certified speech-language specialist are required.
          i. "Deafness"--The auditory impairment is so severe that the student is impaired in processing linguistic information through  
              hearing, with or without amplification and the student's educational performance is adversely affected.
          ii. "Hearing impairment"--An impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating which adversely affects the student's
              educational performance.
     

  2. "Autistic" means a pervasive developmental disability which significantly impacts verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction that adversely affects a student's educational performance. Onset is generally evident before age three. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routine, unusual responses to sensory experiences and lack of responsiveness to others. The term does not apply if the student's adverse educational performance is due to emotional disturbance as defined in (c)5 below. A child who manifests the characteristics of autism after age three may be classified as autistic if the criteria in this paragraph are met. An assessment by a certified speech-language specialist and an assessment by a physician trained in neurodevelopmental assessment are required.
     

  3. "Cognitively impaired" corresponds to "mentally retarded" and means a disability that is characterized by significantly below average general cognitive functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior; manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects a student's educational performance and is characterized by one of the following:
    i. "Mild cognitive impairment" corresponds to "educable" and means a level of cognitive development and adaptive behavior in home, school and community settings that are mildly below age expectations with respect to all of the following:
    (1) The quality and rate of learning;
    (2) The use of symbols for the interpretation of information and the solution of problems; and
    (3) Performance on an individually administered test of intelligence that falls within a range of two to three standard deviations below the mean.
    ii. "Moderate cognitive impairment" corresponds to "trainable" and means a level of cognitive development and adaptive behavior that is moderately below age expectations with respect to the following:
    (1) The ability to use symbols in the solution of problems of low complexity;
    (2) The ability to function socially without direct and close supervision in home, school and community settings; and
    (3) Performance on an individually administered test of intelligence that falls three standard deviations or more below the mean.
    iii. "Severe cognitive impairment" corresponds to "eligible for day training" and means a level of functioning severely below age expectations whereby in a consistent basis the student is incapable of giving evidence of understanding and responding in a positive manner to simple directions expressed in the child's primary mode of communication and cannot in some manner express basic wants and needs.
     

  4. "Communication impaired" corresponds to "communication handicapped" and means a language disorder in the areas of morphology, syntax, semantics and/or pragmatics/discourse which adversely affects a student's educational performance and is not due primarily to an auditory impairment. The problem shall be demonstrated through functional assessment of language in other than a testing situation and performance below 1.5 standard deviations, or the 10th percentile on at least two standardized language tests, where such tests are appropriate one of which shall be a comprehensive test of both receptive and expressive language. When the area of suspected disability is language, assessment by a certified speech-language specialist and assessment to establish the educational impact are required. The speech-language specialist shall be considered a child study team member.
    i. When it is determined that the student meets the eligibility criteria according to the definition in (c)4 above, but requires instruction by a speech-language specialist only, the student shall be classified as eligible for speech-language services.
    ii. When the area of suspected disability is a disorder of articulation, voice or fluency, the student shall be evaluated according to N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.4(g) and, if eligible, classified as eligible for speech-language services according to N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.6(a).
     

  5. "Emotionally disturbed" 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 student's educational performance due to:
    i. An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors;
    ii. An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;
    iii. Inappropriate types of behaviors or feelings under normal circumstances;
    iv. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or
    v. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
     

  6. "Multiply disabled" corresponds to "multiply handicapped" and “multiple disabilities,” and means the presence of two or more disabling conditions, the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in a program designed solely to address one of the impairments. Multiple disabilities includes cognitively impaired-blindness, cognitively impaired-orthopedic impairment, etc. The existence of two disabling conditions alone shall not serve as a basis for a classification of multiply disabled. Eligibility for speech-language services as defined in this section shall not be one of the disabling conditions for classification based on the definition of "multiply disabled." Multiply disabled does not include deaf-blindness.
     

  7. "Deaf/blindness" means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational problems that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for students with deafness or students with blindness.
     

  8. "Orthopedically impaired" corresponds to "orthopedically handicapped" and means a disability characterized by a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a student's educational performance. The term includes malformation, malfunction or loss of bones, muscle or tissue. A medical assessment documenting the orthopedic condition is required.
     

  9. "Other health impaired" corresponds to "chronically ill" and means a disability characterized by having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness with respect to the educational environment, due to chronic or acute health problems, such as attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, diabetes or any other medical condition, such as Tourette Syndrome, that adversely affects a student's educational performance. A medical assessment documenting the health problem is required.
     

  10. "Preschool child with a disability" corresponds to preschool handicapped and means a child between the ages of three and five experiencing developmental delay, as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, in one or more of the areas in (c)10i through v below, and requires special education and related services. When utilizing a standardized assessment or criterion-referenced measure to determine eligibility, a developmental delay shall mean a 33 percent delay in one developmental area, or a 25 percent delay in two or more developmental areas.
    i. Physical, including gross motor, fine motor and sensory (vision and hearing);
    ii. Cognitive;
    iii. Communication;
    iv. Social and emotional; and
    v. Adaptive.
     

  11. "Social maladjustment" means a consistent inability to conform to the standards for behavior established by the school. Such behavior is seriously disruptive to the education of the student or other students and is not due to emotional disturbance as defined in (c)5 above.
     

  12. "Specific learning disability" corresponds to "perceptually impaired" and means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an 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.
    i. A specific learning disability can be determined when a severe discrepancy is found between the student's current achievement and intellectual ability in one or more of the following areas:
    (1) Basic reading skills;
    (2) Reading comprehension;
    (3) Oral expression;
    (4) Listening comprehension;
    (5) Mathematical calculation;
    (6) Mathematical problem solving;
    (7) Written expression; and
    (8) Reading fluency.
    ii. A specific learning disability may also be determined by utilizing a response to scientifically based interventions methodology as described in N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.4(h)6.
    iii. The term severe discrepancy does not apply to students who have learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, general cognitive deficits, emotional disturbance or environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage.
    iv. The district shall, if it utilizes the severe discrepancy methodology, adopt procedures that utilize a statistical formula and criteria for determining severe discrepancy. Evaluation shall include assessment of current academic achievement and intellectual ability.
     

  13. "Traumatic brain injury" corresponds to "neurologically impaired" and means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force or insult to the brain, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both. 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; physical functions; information processing; and speech.
     

  14. "Visually impaired" corresponds to "visually handicapped" and means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a student's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness. An assessment by a specialist qualified to determine visual disability is required. Students with visual impairments shall be reported to the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired.