When you think of a child in special needs you may think of a child with a specific disability. Would you be surprised to know that there are 13 separate categories of disabilities that qualify for special education? Among the 13 categories there are some that everyone will think of such as a person with a disability such as autism, mental retardation, blindness or visual impairment, deafness, as well as children with physical disabilities. Some of the disabilities that you do not think of may include learning disabilities such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and even stuttering can qualify your child for special assistance in the education process.
Under special education there is a separate are called 504 OHI the OHI stands for Other Heath Impaired. Other health impairments include any disorder that affects a child’s learning, listening or educational process. Before my sons were diagnosed with epilepsy I never would have considered that they would qualify and need special education in any form. When I first thought of special education I will admit I was very naïve. I thought of children with severe visible disabilities. Obviously a child with autism, retardation or a physical disability like blindness or deafness would qualify but I never gave any thought to the special needs that a child with epilepsy or even diabetes would have.
Think about it for a second, how many times a day does a person with diabetes need to test their blood sugar? The children are pulled out of class to get their blood sugar tested and insulin administrated and while they are pulled out they are missing classroom time. When they are a fragile diabetic they may miss many days out of the school year due to hospitalizations, doctors’ appointments and low blood sugar levels.
My sons see their neurologist every 6 months, have ;labs drawn in the morning before their medication is given, in hospital EEG monitoring for a few days at a time for seizure monitoring. They miss days out of school if they are having hand tremors (which usually are a sign of a seizure happening over night or may be happening) all these things affect a child’s ability to learn and there for they would qualify for special education.