• My child is eligible for special education services under the category of Intellectual Disability. What does this mean? 

    According to the Operating Standards for Ohio Educational Agencies Serving Children with Disabilities (2008), a child with an intellectual disability has significantly below average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. This may also be called a cognitive disability or a general learning disability.

    Children with intellectual disabilities commonly score below average on assessments of cognitive ability. Because these abilities are underdeveloped, students have difficulty learning and retaining information and skills that are taught in a school setting, and this impacts their academic performance.

    Because the eligibility team at your child’s school agreed that he/she meets the criteria of the Ohio Operating Standards, your child will have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that will address his/her unique needs and allow him/her to access the grade-level curriculum to the greatest extent possible. For those students who are unable to access the grade-level curriculum even with accommodations and supports, they will be taught a modified curriculum based on Ohio’s Extended Standards in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

    What specialized instruction will my child receive?

    Goals for children with intellectual disabilities vary and depend on the unique needs of the child, but typically address reading, written expression, mathematics, and adaptive skills or independent living skills.

    Specially designed instruction for children with intellectual disabilities may include, but is not limited to:

    o   Direct, explicit instruction in goal areas

    o   Multiple opportunities for practice and feedback

    o   Preteaching of skills and concepts

    o   Learning with hands-on, real-world materials (“manipulatives”)

    o   Using scaffolds for learning information, such as graphic organizers and adapted academic materials

    o   Peer-assisted learning

    Can a child with intellectual disabilities attend any CMSD school?

    CMSD is committed to providing quality school choices for all families. Every school in CMSD is staffed with Intervention Specialists to support students in all disability categories with access to the general education curriculum along with specially designed instruction in academic areas. All schools also have access to related services (speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy) and postsecondary transition services. Intervention specialists may teach separate academic classes that allow the student to receive grade-level instruction using specially designed instruction and enhanced accommodations. In addition to these services in all schools, there are specialized single classrooms in every Cleveland neighborhood. Low incidence classrooms focus on a functional curriculum based on Ohio Extended Standards, and have the lowest student-teacher ratios. The type of setting in which a student receives services is a decision of the IEP team.

    Additional Resources

    Center for Parent Information and Resources – Intellectual Disability

    Ohio Coalition for Autism and Low Incidence