Casi Heartstrong, CCC-SLP
Get My Email Here
Thank You for Visiting My Site!


The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of public academic institutions.

Does my Child Qualify?

State and Federal law dictate eligibility criteria for special education. It is not a simple decision made by school staff or family members.


There are 13 categories of special education as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  In order to qualify for special education, the IEP team must determine that a child has one of the following:

  • Autism

  • Blindness

  • Deafness

  • Emotional Disturbance

  • Hearing Impairment

  • Intellectual Disability

  • Multiple Disabilities

  • Orthopedic Impairment

  • Other Health Impaired

  • Specific Learning Disability

  • Speech or Language Impairment

  • Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Visual Impairment

20 U.S.C. § 1401(3); 34 C.F.R. § 300.8; Cal. Educ. Code § 56026(a); 5 C.C.R. § 3030.

Your child may have a medical diagnosis for a disability and still not qualify for special education. A child's disability must also require instruction and/or services which cannot be provided with modification of the regular school program.


Cal. Educ. Code § 56026(b)

For more information about special education eligibility criteria, please talk to your school administration.

Here is another resource with more detailed legal information - from