CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS TITLE 5 (CCR) and CALIFORNIA EDUCATION CODE (EC) delineate eligibility, in conformity with and/or in permissible augmentation of federal law (IDEA). Eligibility for special education is a two-part determination. First, the student must be found to have one of the enumerated disabilities. Secondly, the student must be found to require special education as a result of this disability. 

CCR 3030. Eligibility Criteria A pupil shall qualify as an individual with exceptional needs, pursuant to Section 56026 of the Education Code, if the results of the assessment as required by Section 56320 demonstrate that the degree of the pupil’s impairment as described in the Section 3030 (a through j), or federal definitions.

3030 (a): A pupil has a hearing impairment, whether permanent or fluctuating, if it impairs the processing of linguistic information through hearing, even with amplification, and which adversely affects educational performance. Processing linguistic information includes speech reception and speech discrimination.

3030 (b): A pupil has concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes severe communication, developmental, and educational problems.

3030 (c): A pupil has a language or speech disorder as defined in Section 56333 (c) of the Education Code, and it is determined that the pupil’s disorder meets on or more of the following criteria:

  1. Articulation Disorder 
    • The pupil displays reduced intelligibility or an inability to use speech mechanism that significantly interferes with communication and attracts adverse attention. Significant interference in communication when the pupil’s production of single and multiple speech sounds on a developmental scale of articulation competency is below that expected for his or her chronological age or developmental level, and which adversely affects educational performance. 
    • A pupil does not meet the criteria for an articulation disorder if the sole assessed disability is an abnormal swallowing pattern. 
  2. Abnormal Voice - A pupil has an abnormal voice which is characterized by persistent, defective voice quality, pitch or loudness. 
  3. Fluency Disorders - A pupil has a fluency disorder when the flow of verbal expression, including rate and rhythm, adversely affects communication between the pupil and listener.
  4. Language Disorder - The pupil has an expressive or receptive language disorder when he or she meets one of the following criteria:
    • The pupil scores at least 1.5 standard deviations below the mean, or the 7th percentile, for his or her chronological age or developmental level on two or more standardized tests in one or more of the following areas of language development: morphology, syntax, semantics, or pragmatics. When standardized tests are considered to be invalid for the specific pupil, the expected language performance level shall be determined by alternative means as specified on the assessment plan, or...
    • The pupil scores at least 1.5 standard deviations below the mean or the score is below the 7th percentile for his or her chronological age or developmental level on one or more standardized tests in one of the areas listed in subsection A and displays inappropriate or inadequate usage of expressive or receptive language as measured by a representative spontaneous or elicited language sample of a minimum of 50 utterances. The language sample must be recorded or transcribed and analyzed, and the results included in the assessment report. If the student is unable to produce this sample, the Specialist will document shy a 50-utternace sample was not obtainable and the contexts in which attempts were made to elicit the sample. When standardized tests are considered to be invalid for the specific student, the expected language performance level shall be determined by alternative means as specified in the assessment plan.

3030 (d): A pupil has a visual impairment, which, even with correction, adversely affects a pupil’s educational performance.
3030 (e): A pupil has a severe orthopedic impairment, which adversely affects the pupil’s educational performance. Such orthopedic impairments include impairments caused by congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease and impairments from other causes.

3030 (f): A pupil has limited strength, vitality or alertness due to chronic or acute health problems, which adversely affect a pupil’s educational performance. In accordance with EC 56026 (e), such physical disabilities shall not be temporary in nature.

In the federal definition, other health impairment means having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that (i) 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 and sickle cell anemia; and (ii)
Adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

3030 (g): A pupil exhibits any combination of the following autistic-like behaviors, to include but not limited to: 

    1. An inability to use oral language for appropriate communication. 
    2. A history of extreme withdrawal or relating to people inappropriately and continued 
    3. An obsession to maintain sameness. 
    4. Extreme preoccupation with objects or inappropriate use of objects, or both. 
    5. Extreme resistance to controls. 
    6. Displays peculiar motoric mannerisms and motility patterns. 
    7. Self-stimulating, ritualistic behavior.

3030 (h): A pupil has significantly below average general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, which adversely affect a pupil’s educational performance.

3030 (i): Because of a serious emotional disturbance, a pupil exhibits one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree, which adversely affects educational performance:

    1. An inability to learn which cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors. 
    2. An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and 
    3. Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances 
    4. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression. 
    5. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

3030 (j): A pupil has a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an impaired ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations and has a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement in one or more of the academic areas specified in Section 56337 (a) of the Education Code. For the purpose of Section 3030 (j).

CCR 3030 (j): A pupil has a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an impaired ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, and has a severe impairment in social interaction from infancy through early childhood. teachers. exhibited in several situations. discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement in one or more of the academic areas
specified in Section 56337(a) of the Education Code. 

The Laguna Beach Unified School District as part of their RtI implementation will be piloting new methods for determining if a student has a severe learning disability. The federal definition of “Traumatic brain injury” (TBI) is 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 applies to 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, psychosocial behavior, physical functions, information processing, and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

The federal definition of “Deafness” is a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information thorough hearing, with or without amplification that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

The federal definition of “Multiple disabilities” is concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness, mental retardation-orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which causes such severe educational problems that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness.

EC56441.11(d): (Note: This eligibility category is only applicable for children ages 0-5) “Established Medical Disability” (EMD) means a disabling medical condition or congenital syndrome that the individual education program (IEP) team determines has a high predictability of requiring special education and services.


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Laguna Beach, CA 92651 
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