AUTISM (CCR § 3030 (b) (1)): Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, and adversely affecting 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.

  • (A)Autism does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance, as defined in subdivision (b)(4) of this section.
  • (B) A child who manifests the characteristics of autism after age three could be identified as having autism if the criteria in subdivision (b)(1) of this section are satisfied.



The mission of this site is to promote lifelong access and opportunity for all individuals within the autism spectrum, and their families, to be fully participating, included members of their community. Support, education, advocacy, and an active public awareness form the cornerstones of ASA Santa Barbara’s efforts to carry forth its mission.

The Autism Society
The Autism Society has a simple goal: To improve the lives of all living with autism. In order to improve lives, we focus on ensuring that all individuals with autism and their families have access to the help they need.

The Autism National Committee (AUTCOM)
Autism National Committee is the only autism advocacy organization dedicated to “Social Justice for All Citizens with Autism” through a shared vision and a commitment to positive approaches. Our organization was founded in 1990 to protect and advance the human rights and civil rights of all persons with autism, pervasive developmental disorder and related differences of communication and behavior.

TEACCH Autism Program
TEACCH is a University-based system of community regional centers that offers a set of core services along with unique demonstration programs meeting the clinical, training and research needs of individuals with ASD, their families and professionals across the state of North Carolina. TEACCH conducts training nationally and internationally and provides consultation for teachers, residential care providers and other professionals from a variety of disciplines.

Autism Treatment Center of America
Since 1983, the Autism Treatment Center of America™ has provided innovative training programs for parents and professionals caring for children challenged by autism, autism spectrum disorders, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) and other developmental difficulties.


DEAF:  A hearing impairment that is so severe that the student is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, which adversely affects a student’s educational performance.

DEAF-BLIND:  Concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be

accommodated in special education programs solely for students with deafness or students with blindness.

HARD OF HEARING(DHH/DHOH):  An impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a student’s educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness.



Braille Institute is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate barriers to a fulfilling life caused by blindness and severe sight loss. The Institute provides an environment of hope and encouragement for people who are blind and visually impaired through integrated educational, social and recreational programs and services.

GLAD  (Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness)

Tri-county GLAD

GLAD acts as a coordinating agency that addresses the broad social service needs of deaf and hard of hearing people through direct service provision, advocacy, research and dissemination of information regarding deafness to parents, professionals, and consumers.

House Ear Institute (hearing impairments)

The House Ear Institute (HEI), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to advancing hearing science through research and education to improve quality of life. Established in 1946 by Howard P. House, M.D., as the Los Angeles Foundation of Otology, and later renamed for its founder, the House Ear Institute has been engaged in the scientific exploration of the auditory system from the ear canal to the cortex of the brain for over 60 years.

American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC)
ASCD supports and educates families of deaf and hard-of-hearing children and advocates for high-quality programs and services. We believe that these children are entitled to full communication access in their home school and community; there should be access to identification and intervention by qualified providers, family involvement and educational opportunities equal to those provided for hearing children.

National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
The NAD is actively involved in providing information about opportunities available for educating deaf and hard of hearing children, challenges that deaf and hard of hearing people encounter with high-stakes testing and the legal obligations of public and private schools, post-secondary programs, colleges and universities.


EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE (ED):  A condition evidenced by an inability to learn which cannot be explained by other factors, which is evidenced by inability to build or maintain satisfactory relationships with peers and adults, inappropriate behavior or feelings under normal circumstances, a general pervasive mood of unhappiness/depression, or a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems, manifested over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects educational performance.



ADMHS provides early intervention and treatment services to approximately 14,000 clients and substance abuse prevention services to about 5,000 residents per year. The Department’s goal is to move clients toward independence and integration into the community. Toward this end, ADMHS practices a system of care which promotes partnering with Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and community resources for the prevention, treatment, and recovery from addiction and mental illness.

National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (FFCMH)
The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health is a national family-run organization linking more than 120 chapters and state organizations focused on the issues of children and youth with emotional, behavioral or mental health needs and their families.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
The AACAP developed Facts for Families to provide concise and up-to-date information on psychiatric issues that affect children, teenagers and their families. The AACAP provides this important information as a public service.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need.


ESTABLISHED MEDICAL DISABILITY (Preschool Only):  For purposes of this section, “established medical disability” is defined as a disabling medical condition or congenital syndrome that the individualized education program team determines that a high predictability of requiring special education services.


INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY (ID):  Significantly below average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a student’s educational performance.


The Arc
We are the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. We encompass all ages and all spectrums from autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X and various other developmental disabilities.

National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS)
The mission of the National Down Syndrome Society is to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Congress
Founded in 1973, the National Down Syndrome Congress is the country’s oldest national organization for people with Down syndrome, their families and the professionals who work with them. We provide information, advocacy and support concerning all aspects of life for individuals with Down syndrome, and work to create a national climate in which all people will recognize and embrace the value and dignity of people with Down syndrome.


MULTIHANDICAPPED/MULTIPLE DISABILITY(MD): Concomitant impairments (such as intellectual disability-blindness, intellectual disability-orthopedic impairments, etc.), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments.  Multiple disabilities does not include deaf-blindness.


SEVERE ORTHOPEDIC IMPAIRMENT(OI):  A severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a student’s educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).


OTHER HEALTH IMPAIRED (OHI):  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 such as asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, and sickle cell anemia; and
  • adversely affects a student’s educational performance.



Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), is a national non-profit, tax-exempt (Section 501 (c) (3)) organization providing education, advocacy and support for individuals with ADHD. In addition to our informative website, CHADD also publishes a variety of printed materials to keep members and professionals current on research advances, medications and treatments affecting individuals with ADHD. CHADD also offers information about local CHADD parent and adult groups, advocacy, medical research, legislative issues, and special education law.


SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITY (SLD):  Generally, a neurologic disability resulting in an inability or compromised ability to achieve academically that is not related to, or the cause or result of low intellectual ability or sensory impairment. These problems cannot be a result of visual, hearing or physical disabilities or intellectual disability, emotional disturbance, or environmental disadvantage and must adversely impact the student’s educational progress to a statistically significant degree.  Defined in IDEA regulations at 34 CFR 300.8(c)(10) as:

“a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including dyslexia, and developmental aphasia..”    



LDA is the largest non-profit volunteer organization advocating for individuals with learning disabilities. LDA has been providing services since 1963 and has chapters in 42 states. LDA provides information about all learning disabilities, research, advocacy, legislative information, national resources, and national conferences. LDA has an extensive library of books, videos, and DVDs for sale.  


Provides information on all learning disabilities and advocacy information. Holds state conferences.


LD online is the leading website on learning disabilities. Parents and teachers of children with learning disabilities will find authoritative guidance on attention deficit disorder ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, and Dysgraphia. National experts give advice to parents and teachers. Information in Spanish and English.


Provides free online newsletters and other publications for parents to stay informed about new developments in the field of learning disabilities, early learning, and literacy, Response to Intervention (RTI) practices, and related legislation issues.



LANGUAGE/SPEECH:  A difficulty understanding or using spoken language such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a student’s educational performance.

SPEECH IMPAIRED (SI):  Students who have difficulty in expressing their thoughts due to difficulty with articulation, voice, fluency, and/or language.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is committed to ensuring that all people with speech, language and hearing disorders receive services to help them communicate effectively. Here you will find resources to help you understand communication and communication disorders.

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) NIDCD is one of the Institutes that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH’s mission is to uncover new knowledge that will lead to better health for everyone. Simply described, the goal of NIH research is to acquire new knowledge to help prevent, detect, diagnose and treat disease and disability.


TRAMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI):  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 student’s educational performance.


Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA)
The mission of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is to advance brain injury prevention, research, treatment and education and to improve the quality of life for all people affected by brain injury. We are dedicated to increasing access to quality health care and raising awareness and understanding of brain injury. With a network of state affiliates, local chapters and support groups, we are the voice of brain injury.

The National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA)
Our mission is to improve the quality of life of all people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D). We provide active-lifestyle information, peer support and advocacy that empower individuals to achieve their highest potential in all facets of life.


VISUAL IMPAIRMENT(VI):  Impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a student’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.


FamilyConnect is designed for parents of children with visual impairments, and brought to you by American Foundation for the Blind and National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments. On FamilyConnect you’ll find videos, personal stories, events, news and an online community that can offer tips and support from other parents of children who are blind or visually impaired.

The National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI) NAPVI is a non-profit organization of, by and for parents committed to providing support to the parents of children who have visual impairments. NAPVI is a national organization that enables parents to find information and resources for their children who are blind or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities.

National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
The NFB improves blind people’s lives through advocacy, education, research, technology and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence. It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation’s blind.