Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc. 's Virtual Library
INFORMATION ON SPECIFIC DISABILITIES
DISABILITIES AS DEFINED BY EDUCATION LAW
(THE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT)
What is a disability? is a series of web pages for people with disabilities and their parents. It includes a brief discussion of all the types of disabilities covered under the law. These are:
Other resources on specific disabilities, in alphabetical order
- ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis - also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease)
- Alzheimer's Disease - This site from the National Institute on Aging explains what you need to know to help a parent or yourself. It discusses loss of memory and other abilities due to dementia.
- Arthritis - This disease affecting the joints can be both painful and disabling. Although it is most common in older adults, there are 5 million people under 45 years old with arthrities.If you read not just this page from the administration on aging but also follow the links on it, you will learn much about this disease.
- Asperger's syndrome: A guide for teachers - Children have difficulty with social skills and organization. They may be strong in some subject areas and very weak in others. They have trouble making friends and in understanding non-verbal behavior.
- Blindness/Visual Impairment
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Cerebral Palsy this web page provides further explanation of the information covered in the video shown in workshop #2.
- Dandy Walker Syndrome (also see hydrocephalus)
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is enough of a major concern in Indian country that we have included a separate page. FAS is found among all races, and in the richest and poorest of families. We recommend this page because it gives not just characteristics of people with FAS but also sound advice on how to be a better caregiver for children and young adults with FAS/FAE.
- Hydrocephalus - occurs in one in 500 births, once referred to as 'water on the brain', is really a build-up of spinal fluid. Once a fatal diagnosis, leading to mental retardation and death, hydrocephalus can now be treated and many individuals will live normal lives. Conditions associated with hydrocephalus include:
- Mental retardation There are many syndromes associated with mental retardation. Information on some specific syndroms can be found below.
- Common co-occurring conditions, e.g., epilepsy.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Usher syndrome - People with Usher syndrome are hearing-impaired and visually impaired. They may be hearing impaired at birth and gradually lose their vision or gradually experience declines in both hearing and vision. This link is the most easily understandable description of Usher syndrome we have read.
FREE FACT SHEETS ON SPECIFIC DISABILITIES
The National Dissemination Center of the Office of Special Education Programs has a long name but provides short, readable discussions on a variety of disabilities. The Administration on Aging has also given us their kind permission to reproduce their materials, as have several other kind individual authors.
- Alzheimer's Disease - older people are sometimes afraid of losing their memory and mental ability. When a parent is having problems, children often don't know how to help. This site from the National Institute on Aging explains what you need to know.
- Arthritis -
- Asperger's Syndrome - Children have difficulty with social skills and organization. They may be strong in some subject areas and very weak in others. They have trouble making friends and in understanding non-verbal behavior. (Copyright owner: Barbara L. Kirby and the OASIS (Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support) Web site at www.aspergersyndrome.org -Ms. Kirby is also co-author of The OASIS Guide To Asperger Syndrome, available from Crown Books.
- Autism and other pervasive developmental disorders defined under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as “a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, usually evident before age 3, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.”
- Down syndrome - this fact sheet has important advice for family members.
- Physical Disabilities
- Cerebral Palsy is a weakness or problem with the muscles caused by an injury to the brain. It may make it difficult for a person to sit straight or walk.
- Common co-occurring conditions, e.g., epilepsy.
- Mental retardation- if you need to explain mental retardation to other students, family members or new staff, this fact sheet is terrific. Especially worthwhile are its tips for parents and tips for teachers.
Recommended websites for more information
National Organization for Rare Diseases- If you did not find information you were searching for on a specific disability here, this website has information on over 1,000 rare diseases. If you, a family member or someone else you care about has a rare disease, you MUST go to this website. Living in a rural community, you may have the only child with Batten Disease, This website has information on over 1,000 rare diseases. You can find reports, fact sheets, brochures and support groups. Their research briefs are highly recommended reading.
Global Village has it. If you can't find information on the specific disability here ob our website, it is almost guaranteed that Global Village has it. Click here to go to their card catalog. Some of their fact sheets are pretty technical and full of medical terms. However, if you could not find information anywhere else, they seem to have at least something on every disability on earth.
Websites on Specific Rare Diseases
Deaf-blindness - This site, from the state of Montana, provides information on early development, communication and education for
International Rett Syndrome Association - "The child with RS usually shows an early period of apparently normal or near normal development until 6-18 months of life. A period of temporary stagnation or regression follows during which the child loses communication skills and purposeful use of the hands. Soon, stereotyped hand movements, gait disturbances, and slowing of the rate of head growth become apparent."