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Physically Impaired with Other Health Impairment

Students with physical impairments in most cases receive their education in their home school accessing the general curriculum with their non-disabled peers. Related services including occupational therapy, physical therapy, special transportation, use of assistive technology devices, and nursing services are provided using itinerant or school based personnel. Orange County Public Schools also identifies regionally located elementary, middle, and high schools that have more intensive and specialized service capability.  Students with physical impairments who have more complex and intensive specialized needs, can be transported to one of these regular neighborhood schools where a higher level of service can be provided.  Inclusive educational practices are considered for all students and implemented to meet individual student need.

Other Health Impaired means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environment, that is due to chronic or acute health problems. This includes, but is not limited to, asthma, attention deficit disorder, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and acquired brain injury. To be eligible of exceptional student education there must be evidence of a health impairment that results in reduced efficiency in schoolwork and adversely affects a student's performance in the educational environment.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is meant by Physically Impaired with Orthopedic Impairment?

An orthopedic impairment refers to a severe skeletal, muscular or neuromuscular impairment.  The term includes impairments resulting from congenital anomalies (e.g. including but not limited to skeletal deformity or spina bifida), and impairments resulting from other causes (e.g., including but not limited to cerebral palsy or amputations).  To be eligible for exceptional student education, there must be evidence of an orthopedic impairment that adversely affects the student’s performance in the educational environment. 

What is meant by Physically Impaired with Other Health Impairment?

Other Health Impaired 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 is due to chronic or acute health problems.  This includes, but is not limited to, asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Tourette syndrome, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and acquired brain injury. To be eligible of exceptional student education there must be evidence of a health impairment that results in reduced efficiency in schoolwork and adversely affects a student’s performance in the educational environment.

When might I suspect that my child has an Orthopedic or Other Health Impairment?

Most children with an orthopedic or other health impairment may be diagnosed by the family physician in the early years of childhood or infancy. Some may be diagnosed later when the child appears delayed in gross and/or fine motor skills or following a serious accident or injury.

If I have a concern, what should I do?

  • First consult with your child's pediatrician and/or family physician and explain your concerns.

  • If your child is between the ages of 3 to 5, please contact Preschool Diagnostic Intervention Services (PDIS) at 407-317-3503.

  • Talk with your child's teacher and determine if s/he has special needs or seems delayed in gross and fine motor skills.

  • Request an educational planning team meeting at the child's school. If further evaluations are required, ask questions to increase your understanding of what you should expect as an outcome of the evaluations.

Will my child need special services throughout his/her school years?

A student who is physically impaired may require a specialized educational program until such time s/he learns to develop abstract concepts and skills and be more independent in the educational setting. Because children who are physically impaired do not grow out of their disability, it is important to diagnose them as soon as possible so the child can be provided the necessary services to allow them full opportunities to participate in classroom activities.

What services are available through the schools?

The Orange County Public School System has a continuum of services for students who are physically impaired from preschool through age 22. These services range from consultation to placement in a self-contained classroom. Classes are located on regular school campuses, as well as in special centers. The amount of time a student spends in exceptional education classes is determined by individual needs that are identified on the student’s individual educational plan (IEP). Specialized instructional strategies, modifications and accommodations help the child participate in the curriculum. Environmental accommodations make a school campus accessible. Related services, such as Nursing, Occupational and Physical Therapy, are provided to eligible students. Transportation is provided by the school district.

Service Delivery Models

Consultation - The student remains in the regular classroom. School personnel, such as an ESE teacher or staffing coordinator/placement specialist, consults with the student's classroom teacher regarding progress the student has made in the classroom.

Itinerant/Resource Services - Students are pulled out of the regular classroom for part of the school day to receive instructional skills, as needed. Students who are physically independent may attend their neighborhood school. Environmental or curriculum modification(s) and special transportation needs are provided by the district.

Self-Contained Services - Students spend almost all of their instructional day with a teacher knowledgeable in exceptional education. The class size is usually smaller than a regular education class. There may be more than one grade level in the class. Students with multiple handicaps are served in a classroom usually located at a center school in order to receive the services of nurses, physical, occupational, and speech and language therapists. Environmental or curriculum modification(s) and special transportation needs are provided by the district.

How will the program benefit my child?

The program for the physically impaired will provide the appropriate specialized services, as well as curriculum adaptations/modifications and therapies, to assist the student in meeting classroom demands. Proper placement and support will hopefully enable the student to function successfully within the family structure and as a contributing member of society. The program strives to assist the student to be educationally and physically independent, and assist them to achieve academically.

Once in the program the emphasis is on teaching the student to learn about and adapt to his/her physical or health impairment. Each year, you will meet with your child's teacher and other professionals to review and develop an individual educational plan (IEP) to meet the needs of your child.

How can I help?

Parents are encouraged to:

  • Stay in contact with teachers and know what they are doing.

  • Have current medical reports and follow recommendations.

  • Trust your instincts; seek a second opinion. 

  • Encourage your child to discuss his/her physical needs.

  • Learn the best way to communicate with your child.

  • Look at the child first and his/her physical needs secondly.

  • Keep all adaptive/assistive devices (wheelchairs, braces, crutches, etc.) in good working condition.

  • Understand his/her strengths or weaknesses.

  • Seek counseling, if needed.

Where do I go for assistance?

Orange County Public Schools

Physically Impaired Program
445 W. Amelia St.
Orlando FL 32801
(407) 317-3493

Preschool Diagnostic Intervention Services (PDIS) 
3100 Edgewater Drive
Orlando, FL 32804
(407) 317-3503

Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System (FDLRS)
3100 Edgewater Drive
Orlando, FL 32804
(407) 317-3660

What if my child does not qualify?

If your child is evaluated and does not qualify for the program, you may request a meeting with your child's teacher to discuss recommendations and interventions.


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Contact Us

Useful Links

Elizabeth Padilla
Senior Administrator
407-317-3200 x 2002684
elizabeth.padilla@ocps.net


Muscular Dystrophy Association
News and information about neuromusculara diseases.

Spina Bifida Association
The association addresses the specific need of the spina bifida community.

Cerebral Palsy Foundation