Missouri Special Education Eligibility Categories
Missouri is a categorical state. This means that any child must have one of the
16 educational diagnoses to receive special education and related services.
These 16 eligibility categories are specified under federal educational law.
These categories are defined, and eligibility criteria for each is given, in the 2001
Missouri State Plan for Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
1997 (Public Law 105-17). These regulations went into effect October 1, 2001.
The diagnostic category (label) is followed below by the Missouri acronym
commonly used. An eligibility category, or label, is the key which opens the door
to special education services. Important: The label does not drive the services
provided for the child. Services are matched to the individual needs of the child
and are determined by the goals and objectives on the IEP regardless of the
child’s education label(s).
3. Emotional Disturbance (ED)
4. Hearing Impairment and Deafness (HI)
5. Mental Retardation (MR)
6. Multiple Disabilities
7. Orthopedic Impairment
8. Other Health Impairment (OHI)
9. Specific Learning Disabilities (LD)
10. Language Disorder
11. Speech Disorder (Sound System Disorder)
12. Speech Disorder (Fluency Disorder)
13. Speech Disorder (Voice Disorder)
14. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
15. Visual Impairment/Blindness (VI)
16. Young Child with a Developmental Delay (YCDD)**
**Missouri regulations allow children aged 3 through 5 who experience
developmental delays in one or more areas to be labeled under Young Child
with a Developmental Delay. A child who is age 5 (kindergarten eligible) may
continue under the YCDD label if he/she was identified as such prior to
attaining kindergarten age eligibility. Children who are first grade eligible (age
6 by August 1) must meet criteria under a disability category other than YCDD
if they are to continue to receive special education services.