My child is eligible for special education services under the category of Other Health Impairment (OHI). What does this mean?
According to the Operating Standards for Ohio Educational Agencies Serving Children with Disabilities (2008), a child with “other health impairment” has limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever or sickle cell anemia and Tourette syndrome; and adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
In the state of Ohio, students may be identified as OHI Major or OHI Minor. A child who is considered to be “medically fragile” and requires nursing services during the school day would typically be categorized as OHI Major. A child with ongoing but less intensive medical needs would be eligible under OHI Minor.
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 and instruction for children with OHI vary widely, based on the student’s needs. Academic goals in reading, written expression, and mathematics are common. In addition, some students may require behavioral support and/or related services. Students with the most severe medical needs may have life skills goals.
Students with OHI who have behavior challenges should also have a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) conducted by a qualified team. The FBA helps to inform the Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP), which outlines the behavior modification support that a child will receive.
Can a student with Other Health Impairment attend any CMSD school?
Every school in CMSD is staffed with at least one Intervention Specialist 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.
For students whose needs cannot be met, there are specialized single classrooms in every Cleveland neighborhood. ED classrooms focus on grade-level curriculum and intensive behavior intervention in a small group setting. Low incidence classrooms focus on a functional curriculum based on Ohio Extended Standards, and have the lowest student-teacher ratios. A few schools have medically fragile classrooms that focus on daily living needs and life skills. These classrooms are housed in buildings with at least one full-time nurse on staff. The type of setting in which a student receives services is a decision of the IEP team.