• Educational Disability Descriptions *
    Raising children is a very rewarding and fulfilling life experience.  However it is a huge responsibility and can often be a daunting and challenging task.  Raising a child with special needs can increase stress on a family.  For some, coming to terms with your child’s disability can be a painful process.   Below are links that can help you learn more about various disabilities. 



    Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Autistic spectrum disorder is a relatively new term to denote the fact that there are a number of subgroups within the spectrum of autism.  There are differences between the subgroups and further work is required on defining the criteria, but all children with an ASD share a triad of impairments in their ability to:

    • understand and use non-verbal and verbal communication
    • understand social behavior which affects their ability to interact with children and adults
    • think and behave flexibly — which may be shown in restricted, obsessional or repetitive activities. 
    To read more about ASD, click on these links:

    Autism Health Information

    Learning Disabilities
    People with learning disabilities have average to above-average intelligence, but experience difficulty processing information. The difficulties are neurological in origin. LD is the term currently used to describe a variety of difficulties that interfere with a person"s ability to process, store, retrieve or produce information.

    Because of this, they may have trouble with reading, writing, math, speaking, thinking, listening and with social skills. Dyslexia is the most commonly known of the many different types of learning disabilities.

    A learning disability is not a form of mental retardation and does not develop because of an emotional, visual, hearing or motor disability. Nor is it the result of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage.
    To read more about LD, click on these links:

    Mental Retardation  

    Mental retardation refers to below-average intelligence. The diagnosis of mental retardation is based on intelligence quotient (IQ) tests and a child"s learning problems. Mental retardation is categorized according to IQ scores:

    • In mild retardation, IQs range from 50 or 55 to 70.
    • In moderate retardation, IQs range from 35 or 40 to 50 or 55.
    • In severe retardation, IQs range from 20 or 25 to 35 or 40.
    • In profound retardation, IQs are below 20 or 25.
    To read more about MR, click on these links:

    Although their hearing may be normal, kids with central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) can"t process the information they hear in the same way as others because their ears and brain don"t fully coordinate.

    If you think there may be a problem with how your child processes what he or she hears, ask yourself these questions:

    • Is your child easily distracted or unusually bothered by loud or sudden noises?
    • Are noisy environments upsetting to your child?
    • Does your child"s behavior and performance improve in quieter settings?
    • Does your child have difficulty following directions, whether simple or complicated ones?
    • Does your child have reading, spelling, writing, or other speech-language difficulties?
    • Is abstract information difficult for your child to comprehend?
    • Are verbal (word) math problems difficult for your child?
    • Is your child disorganized and forgetful?
    • Are conversations hard for your child to follow?
    To read more about CAPD, click on these links:
    Occasionally, we may all have difficulty sitting still, paying attention or controlling impulsive behavior. For some people, the problem is so pervasive and persistent that it interferes with their daily life, including home, academic, social and work settings.

    Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) is a neurobiological disorder and it is characterized by developmentally inappropriate impulsivity, attention, and in some cases, hyperactivity.   Some of the synptoms are:

    • Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes.
    • Has difficulty sustaining attention.
    • Does not appear to listen.
    • Struggles to follow through on instructions.
    • Has difficulty with organization.
    • Avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort.
    • Loses things.
    • Is easily distracted. 
    • Is forgetful in daily activities
    • Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in chair.
    • Has difficulty remaining seated.
    • Runs about or climbs excessively.
    •  Difficulty engaging in activities quietly.
    • Acts as if driven by a motor.
    • Talks excessively.
    • Blurts out answers before questions have been completed.
    • Difficulty waiting or taking turns.
    • Interrupts or intrudes upon others.
    • To read more about AD/HD, click on these links:



    *These descriptions were researched and written by Karen Casinghino Spec. Ed Teacher at New Hartford Elem.

Last Modified on September 23, 2013