About the Orthopedic Impairment/Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Students working at desks The Orthopedic Impairment program serves students ages 5 to 21. To receive an educational disability of Orthopedic Impaired, a student must have a medically diagnosed orthopedic impairment and have difficulty performing school activities as a result of that impairment. Eligible students are provided a continuum of individualized programs ranging from general education with consultative services from an itinerant teacher to education in a special education school. Itinerant teachers for students with Orthopedic Impairments work with school staff to teach them how to modify both the facilities and the instruction in order to provide optimal education for students with Orthopedic Impairments.

    Traumatic Brain Injury Itinerant teachers serve as district-wide consultants for students with an educational disability of Traumatic Brain Injury. The teachers help transition students back into school after a head injury and provide support to parents and school staff once the student is back in school. Consultation is gradually decreased as the student’s performance improves. The teacher may be contacted for consultation as expectations change or physical changes occur. Contact may be made through the department for Orthopedic Impairments and Traumatic Brain Injury.


    Definitions and Eligibility

    “Traumatic Brain Injury” means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as, cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem solving, sensory, perceptual and motor abilities, psychological behavior, physical functions, information processing and speech.

    The term does not include brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.


    Initial Eligibility Criteria for Traumatic Brain Injury

    A child has a Traumatic Brain Injury when:

    1. a traumatic brain injury/head injury has been diagnosed by a licensed physician or through a neuropsychological assessment
    2. the student's educational performance is adversely affected by deficits in acquisition, retention, and/or generalization of skills. Students with a brain injury may have rapidly changing profiles, therefore, educational assessment should include current documentation of the student's functional capabilities and indicate deficits in one or more of the following areas:
      1. building or maintaining social competence;
      2. performance of functional daily living skills across settings;
      3. the ability to acquire and retain new skills; and,
      4. the ability to retrieve prior information.


    Professional Judgment

    A child may also be deemed eligible if the child displays characteristics of TBI even though a medical diagnosis of head injury has not been made by a physician. In such cases, substantial data to document the medical basis for a head injury must be present in the evaluation report.

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