MULTIPLE DISABILITIES


A child with Multiple Disabilities shall have two or more areas of significant impairment, one of which shall be an intellectual disability. The other areas of impairment include: Orthopedic Impairment, Visual Impairment including Blindness, Hearing Impairment including Deafness, Speech or Language Impairment, Serious Emotional Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Traumatic Brain Injury, or Other Health Impaired. The combination of such impairments creates a unique condition that is evidenced through a multiplicity of severe educational needs which prevent the child from receiving reasonable educational benefit from general education.

Having multiple disabilities means that a person has more than one disability. What caused the disabilities? Often, no one knows.

With some children, however, the cause is known. For example, Sharon’s disabilities were caused by a lack of oxygen at birth. Other causes can include:

  • Chromosomal abnormalities
  • Premature birth
  • Difficulties after birth
  • Poor development of the brain or spinal cord
  • Infections
  • Genetic disorders
  • Injuries from accidents (1)

Whatever the cause, the result is that the child has multiple disabilities. Fortunately, there’s help available. Keep reading to find out more.

To support, parent, or educate a child with multiple disabilities, it’s important to know:

  • which individual disabilities are involved;
  • how severe (or moderate or mild) each disability is; and
  • how each disability can affect learning and daily living.

The different disabilities will also have a combined impact. That’s why it’s also important to ask: How does the combination of these disabilities affect the child’s learning, balance, use of the senses, thinking, and so on?

The answer will help parents and involved professionals decide what types of supports and services the child needs now and in the future.

 Information taken from https://www.cde.state.co.us/cdesped/sd-multiple


A child with Multiple Disabilities shall have two or more areas of significant impairment, one of which shall be an intellectual disability.  The combination of such impairments creates a unique condition that is evidenced through a multiplicity of severe educational needs which prevent the child from receiving reasonable educational benefit from general education.


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