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Exceptional Education Student Descriptions Presented by: James J. Messina, Ph.D. Exceptional Student Categories Mentally Handicapped Specific Learning Disability Hearing Impaired Blind/Visually Impaired Emotionally Handicapped Physically Impaired Autistic Speech and Language Impaired

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exceptional education student descriptions

Exceptional Education Student Descriptions

Presented by:

James J. Messina, Ph.D.

exceptional student categories
Exceptional Student Categories
  • Mentally Handicapped
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Hearing Impaired
  • Blind/Visually Impaired
  • Emotionally Handicapped
  • Physically Impaired
  • Autistic
  • Speech and Language Impaired
  • Homebound/Hospitalized
  • Gifted
mentally handicapped emh tmh spmh
Mentally Handicapped (EMH, TMH, SPMH)
  • A mental handicap is defined as significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period
  • Mentally handicapped students may not be able to learn quickly or as much as most other students his age
  • Includes students who are EMH "educable," TMH "trainable," or SPMH "profound"
sources of mentally handicapped condition
Sources of Mentally Handicapped Condition

1. Down Syndrome

  • Trisomy 21- Extra Chromosome 21-95%
  • Mosaic
  • Translocation

Prenatal Testing:

  • Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) 8-12 weeks
  • Amniocentesis 12-20 weeks
  • Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling (PUBS) 20 weeks

Incidence: 1 in 800 or 350,000

sources of mentally handicapped condition8
Sources of Mentally Handicapped Condition

2. Fragile X Syndrome-X Chromosome

3. Prader Willi Syndrome-Chromosome 15

4. Angelman Syndrome-Chromosome 15

5. Williams Syndrome-Elastin Gene-Chromosome 7

6. Rett Syndrome-defective regulatory MECP2 gene, found on the X chromosome-mostly females

7. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

8. Congenital Cytomegalovirus CMV

9. Brain Injury

10. Others…

aamr levels of support
AAMR Levels of Support
  • Intermittent - Support not always needed-provided on "as needed" basis & most likely required at life transitions e.g. moving from school to work
  • Limited - Consistent support is required, though not on a daily basis- support is of a non-intensive nature
  • Extensive - Regular, daily support is required in at least some environments e.g. daily home-living support
  • Pervasive - Daily extensive support, perhaps of a life-sustaining nature, is required in multiple environments
emh iq 69 55
EMH (IQ 69-55)
  • An educable mentally handicapped student is a student who is mildly impaired in intellectual and adaptive behavior and whose development reflects a reduced rate of learning 
  • The measured intelligence of an educable mentally handicapped student generally falls between two and three standard deviations below the mean, and the assessed adaptive behavior falls below that of other students of the same age and socio-cultural group
people with emh
People with EMH
  • are likely to need only intermittent to limited support
  • typically do not "look" different from their non-disabled peers
  • often have only mild or moderate developmental delays, except in academics, which is often the major area of deficit
  • often not identified until they enter the school setting, where their cognitive disability is most apparent
people with emh 2
People with EMH 2
  • typically attain 3rd- to 6th-grade academic achievement levels by the time they finish high school
  • as adults, many, though not all, with mild MR will be able to obtain independent employment
  • many will marry, have children, and blend rather indistinguishably into the community
  • for those who achieve total independence, the label of mental retardation is no longer appropriate
tmh iq 54 40
TMH (IQ 54-40)
  • A trainable mentally handicapped student is a student who is moderately or severely impaired in intellectual and adaptive behavior and whose development reflects a reduce rate of learning
  • The measured intelligence of a trainable mentally handicapped student generally falls between three and five standard deviations below the mean, and the assessed adaptive behavior falls below that of other students of the same age and socio-cultural group
people with tmh
People with TMH
  • will probably need limited to extensive supports
  • they are more likely to have a recognizable syndrome (such as Down Syndrome)
  • may "look" different than their non-disabled peers
  • their development is often significantly delayed
  • they are typically identified as infants or toddlers
  • most begin receiving special education during the preschool years
people with tmh 2
People with TMH 2
  • spend much of the school day in a separate classroom where they learn adaptive living skills
  • as adults, most individuals with moderate to severe MR will not achieve total independence
  • they are likely to continue to need limited to extensive support provided in group homes or semi-independent living situations or continue to live with their parents
  • some individuals with moderate to severe MR may be able to succeed in modified competitive employment situations
  • many will work in supported, non-competitive settings such as sheltered workshops
spmh severe iq 39 25 profound iq 24 or below
SPMH (Severe: IQ 39-25 & Profound: IQ 24 or below)
  • A severe-profoundly mentally handicapped student is a student who is profoundly impaired in intellectual and adaptive behavior and whose development reflects a reduced rate of learning
  • The measured intelligence of a profoundly mentally handicapped student generally falls below five standard deviations below the mean, and the assessed adaptive behavior falls below that of other students of the same age and socio-cultural group
people with spmh
People with SPMH
  • generally need services at pervasive level, typically throughout their life
  • likely have multiple disabilities, particularly in mobility & communication
  • many use wheelchairs & alternate forms of communication
  • their communication deficits make it difficult to accurately assess their intellectual functioning
  • in educational settings in their own classroom
  • some adults remain in institutional settings, but most currently live in group homes
specific learning disabled sld
Specific Learning Disabled (SLD)
  • ‘Specific learning disability’ means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which disorder may manifest itself in imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations.
  • Students with a specific learning disability seem to have average or better ability, health, vision, hearing, and intelligence, but are still unable to learn things as easily or as quickly as most other students their age
characteristics of students with sld
Characteristics of Students with SLD

Exhibit a wide range of traits, including:

  • Problems with reading comprehension
  • spoken language
  • Writing
  • reasoning ability
  • Hyperactivity, inattention & perceptual coordination problems may also be associated with learning disabilities
characteristics of students with sld 2
Characteristics of Students with SLD 2

Other traits that may be present include:

  • uneven and unpredictable test performance
  • perceptual impairments
  • motor disorders
  • impulsiveness
  • low tolerance for frustration
  • problems in handling day-to-day social interactions & situations
learning disabilities may occur in the following areas
Learning disabilities may occur in the following areas:
  • Spoken language: Delays, disorders, or discrepancies in listening and speaking
  • Written language: Difficulties with reading, writing, and spelling
  • Arithmetic: Difficulty in performing arithmetic functions or in comprehending basic concepts
  • Reasoning: Difficulty in organizing and integrating thoughts
  • Organization skills: Difficulty in organizing all facets of learning
hearing impaired
Hearing Impaired
  • Hearing impaired students have a loss of some or most of their ability to hear
  • This includes students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing
hard of hearing or hearing impaired
Hard of Hearing or Hearing Impaired
  • an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance
  • a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification
  • deafness may be viewed as a condition that prevents an individual from receiving sound in all or most of its forms
  • In contrast, a child with a hearing loss can generally respond to auditory stimuli, including speech
types of hearing loss
Types of Hearing Loss
  • 1. Conductive hearing losses are caused by diseases or obstructions in the outer or middle ear (the conduction pathways for sound to reach the inner ear). Conductive hearing losses usually affect all frequencies of hearing evenly and do not result in severe losses. A person with a conductive hearing loss usually is able to use a hearing aid well or can be helped medically or surgically.
types of hearing loss29
Types of Hearing Loss
  • 2. Sensorineural hearing losses result from damage to the delicate sensory hair cells of the inner ear or the nerves which supply it. These hearing losses can range from mild to profound. They often affect the person's ability to hear certain frequencies more than others. Thus, even with amplification to increase the sound level, a person with a sensorineural hearing loss may perceive distorted sounds, sometimes making the successful use of a hearing aid impossible
types of hearing loss30
Types of Hearing Loss
  • 3 A mixed hearing loss refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural loss and means that a problem occurs in both the outer or middle and the inner ear
  • 4 A central hearing loss results from damage or impairment to the nerves or nuclei of the central nervous system, either in the pathways to the brain or in the brain itself.
blind visually impaired
Blind/Visually Impaired
  • Visually impaired students have a loss of some or all of their ability to see
  • This includes students who are blind or partially sighted
types of visual impairments
Types of Visual Impairments
  • 1. "Partially sighted" indicates some type of visual problem has resulted in a need for special education
types of visual impairments42
Types of Visual Impairments
  • 2. "Low vision" generally refers to a severe visual impairment, not necessarily limited to distance vision
  • Low vision applies to all individuals with sight who are unable to read the newspaper at a normal viewing distance, even with the aid of eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  • They use a combination of vision and other senses to learn, although they may require adaptations in lighting or the size of print, and, sometimes, braille
types of visual impairments43
Types of Visual Impairments
  • 3. "Legally blind" indicates that a person has less than 20/200 vision in the better eye or a very limited field of vision (20 degrees at its widest point)
  • 4. Totally blind students learn via braille or other non-visual media
emotional handicapped eh sed
Emotional Handicapped (EH, SED)
  • Emotionally handicapped students may seem to act differently, think differently, or have different feelings than most other students their age
  • This includes students who are "severely emotionally disturbed - (SED)"
signs of emotional handicapping condition
Signs of Emotional Handicapping Condition
  • Child as a inability to build & maintain friendships & relationships with other children & teachers
  • Child overreacts & exhibits feelings or behaviors that are not suited to the circumstances
  • Child shows a general, consistent mood of unhappiness or depression
  • Child has physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems
  • Child has an inability to achieve academic progress.
physically impaired pi
Physically Impaired (PI)
  • Physically impaired students have a severe illness, condition, or disability which makes it hard for them to learn in the same ways as other students their age
cerebral palsy spastic cerebral palsy
Cerebral Palsy Spastic cerebral palsy
  • 70 to 80% of patients-muscles are stiffly & permanently contracted
    • spastic diplegia (both legs)
    • left or right hemi-paresis (the left or right side of the body)
  • In some cases, spastic cerebral palsy follows a period of poor muscle tone (hypotonia) in the young infant
cerebral palsy athetoid cerebral palsy
Cerebral PalsyAthetoid Cerebral Palsy
  • 10 to 20%-characterized by uncontrolled, slow, writhing movements
  • Abnormal movements usually affect the hands, feet, arms, or legs & in some cases, the muscles of the face & tongue, causing grimacing or drooling
  • Movements often increase during periods of emotional stress & disappear during sleep
  • May also have problems coordinating the muscle movements needed for speech, a condition known as dysarthria
cerebral palsy ataxic cerebral palsy
Cerebral PalsyAtaxic Cerebral Palsy
  • 5 to 10%-affects the sense of balance & depth perception
  • Affected persons often have poor coordination; walk unsteadily with a wide-based gait, placing their feet unusually far apart; & experience difficulty when attempting quick or precise movements, such as writing or buttoning a shirt
  • May also have intention tremor-beginning a voluntary movement, such as reaching for a book, causes a trembling that affects the body part being used & that worsens as the individual gets nearer to the desired object
cerebral palsy mixed form
Cerebral PalsyMixed Form
  • It is not unusual for patients to have symptoms of more than one of the previous three forms
  • Most common mixed form includes spasticity & athetoid movements but other combinations are also possible
spina bifida
Spina Bifida
  • Spina bifida (SB) is a neural tube defect -disorder involving incomplete development of the brain, spinal cord, &/or their protective coverings-caused by the failure of the fetus's spine to close properly during the first month of pregnancy
  • Although spinal opening can be surgically repaired shortly after birth-nerve damage is permanent, resulting in degrees of paralysis of lower limbs
  • SB may also cause bowel & bladder complications
  • Many with SB have hydrocephalus-excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in brain
three forms of spina bifida
Three Forms of Spina Bifida
  • Myelomeningocele severest form, in which the spinal cord & its protective covering (the meninges) protrude from an opening in the spine
  • Meningocele in which the spinal cord develops normally but the meninges protrude from a spinal opening
  • Occulta mildest form, in which one or more vertebrae are malformed & covered by a layer of skin
traumatic brain injury
Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Occurs when a sudden physical assault on the head causes damage to the brain
  • Damage can be
    • Focal, confined to one area of the brain, or
    • Diffuse, involving more than one area of the brain.
tbi closed head injury vs penetrating head injury
TBI Closed Head Injury vs. Penetrating Head Injury
  • TBI can result from a closed head injury or a penetrating head injury
  • Closed head injury occurs when the head suddenly & violently hits an object, but the object does not break through the skull
  • A penetrating head injury occurs when an object pierces the skull & enters the brain tissue.
types of traumatic brain injuries
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Skull fracture -bone of the skull cracks or breaks
  • Depressed skull fracture-pieces of the broken skull press into the tissue of the brain - can cause bruising of the brain tissue, called a contusion
  • Contusion can also occur in response to shaking of the brain within confines of the skull, an injury called "countrecoup.“
  • Shaken baby syndrome is a severe form of head injury that occurs when shaken forcibly enough to cause extreme countrecoup injury
types of traumatic brain injuries60
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Damage to a major blood vessel within the head can cause a hematoma, or heavy bleeding into or around the brain.
  • Severity of a TBI can range from a mild concussion to extremes of coma or even death
  • Symptoms of a TBI may include headache, nausea, confusion or other cognitive problems, a change in personality, depression, irritability & other emotional & behavioral problems or seizures
  • Epilepsy is a neurological condition, which affects the nervous system
  • Epilepsy is also known as a seizure disorder
  • It is usually diagnosed after a person has had at least two seizures that were not caused by some known medical condition like alcohol withdrawal or extremely low blood sugar
risk factors for seizures
Risk Factors for Seizures
  • Babies who are small for their gestational age
  • Babies who have seizures in the first month of life
  • Babies who are born with abnormal brain structures
  • Bleeding into the brain
  • Abnormal blood vessels in the brain
  • Serious brain injury or lack of oxygen to the brain
  • Brain tumors
  • Infections of the brain: abscess, meningitis, or encephalitis
risk factors for seizures 2
Risk Factors for Seizures 2
  • Stroke resulting from blockage of arteries
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Mental handicap
  • Seizures occurring within days after head injury ("early posttraumatic seizures")
  • Family history of epilepsy or fever-related seizures
  • Alzheimer's disease (late in the illness)
  • Fever-related (febrile) seizures that are unusually long
  • Use of illegal drugs such as cocaine
  • Autistic students may seem to act, talk, think or behave very differently from other students their age and not like to being close to people
  • Delay or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following three areas with onset prior to age 3:
    • social interaction
    • language used in social communication
    • symbolic or imaginative play
autistic 2
Autistic 2
  • These children have difficulty with peer relationships & lack of engagement with others
  • There may be a delay or total lack oflanguage
  • Use of repetitive & idiosyncratic language
  • Preoccupation with parts of objects
  • Hand or finger flapping
  • Rocking
speech and language impaired
Speech and Language Impaired
  • Speech or language impaired students have problems in talking so that they can be understood, sharing ideas, expressing needs, or understanding what others are saying
homebound hospitalized
  • A kind of Exceptional Student Education for students who must stay at home or in a hospital for a period of time because of a severe illness, injury, or health problem
  • Gifted students are very, very bright or smart and learn things much more quickly than other students their age