Overview of Physical & Health Impairments

Students with Physical & Health Impairments include children with...

Orthopedic Impairment.  A severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects educational performance. The category includes impairments such as amputation, absence of a limb, cerebral palsy, poliomyelitis, and bone tuberculosis.

Traumatic Brain Injury.  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 category 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. The category does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

Other Health Impairments.  Health impairments include convulsive disorders, cystic fibrosis, heart disease, sickle cell disease, hemophilia, leukemia, asthma, rheumatic fever, cancer, AIDS, or any other chronic or acute health problem that limits strength, vitality, or alertness and adversely affects the student's educational development and performance.

Multiple Disabilities.  A combination of impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness, or mental retardation-physical disabilities) that causes such severe educational problems that the child cannot be accommodated in a special education program solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness.

ED314915 1989-00-00 Students with Physical Disabilities and Health Impairments. Revised. ERIC Digest #459.

ED429396 1998-04-00 IDEA's Definition of Disabilities. ERIC Digest E560