Other Health Impairment, or OHI Special Education, is one of the disability categories recognized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Because of a chronic or acute health condition students with an OHI have a learning disability caused by a chronic or acute health condition.
Among the conditions that may qualify a student for special education services under the category of OHI are the following:
- Disorder of attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD)
- Diabetes Epilepsy
- Heart conditions
- Muscular dystrophy
- Tourette syndrome
To fully participate in their educational program, students with an OHI disability may require special education and associated services. These services could include extra time on tests, assistive technology, or classroom modifications.
It is essential to note that the OHI disability list is only one of several disability categories recognized by IDEA. The additional categories are specific learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and emotional disturbance. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLDs) are one such category you might want to explore further.
Health Impairments Characteristics
Students with health impairments enrolled in special education may have a wide range of characteristics because the nature and severity of their impairments can differ substantially from case to case. Students with health impairments and receiving special education services will likely share some general characteristics.
These characteristics include the following:
- Problems with attention, concentration, or memory: Students who have certain health conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or epilepsy, may have problems with attention, concentration, or memory, which can impact their ability to learn.
- Physical limitations: Students with certain health conditions may have physical limitations that impact their ability to participate in certain activities or access the learning environment. These limitations may prevent them from entering certain buildings or climbing stairs.
- Sensory Impairments: These are impairments to the senses. Students with certain health conditions may have impairments to their senses, such as vision or hearing, which can impact their capacity to learn. It can be a challenge for educators.
- Social and Emotional Challenges: Students with health impairments may experience difficulties in social and emotional life due to their condition. They may struggle with social interactions, be prone to mood swings, or experience other emotional challenges. They may also have trouble regulating their emotions.
- Difficulties in Learning: Depending on the nature of their impairment, students with health impairments may have problems with certain academic subjects or learning at the same pace as their peers.
It is essential to remember that the characteristics of students with health impairments will vary greatly depending on the particular nature of each student’s impairments. Collaborating with a group of teachers is vital to identify the specific requirements and qualities of each student who suffers from a health impairment and is eligible for services provided by the special education system.
Best Way of Addressing Medical Issues of Students with OHI
There are a variety of approaches that teachers of students in special education who have OHI, the OHI medical abbreviation also known as Other Health Impairment, can take to meet the medical requirements of these pupils.
The following are some examples of best practices:
- Collaborate closely with the student’s healthcare team in the following areas: Maintaining open lines of communication with the student’s healthcare team, which should include physicians, nurses, and other appropriate medical professionals, is critical. It can help ensure they meet the student’s medical needs and provide necessary accommodations or support.
- Create a health care plan: A health care plan is a document that outlines the student’s medical needs as well as any accommodations or supports that may be necessary. It should be drafted after the student’s healthcare team discussion and reviewed and updated consistently.
- Make any necessary accommodations: To guarantee the student has equal access to the educational program they enrolled in, they may be required to make any necessary accommodations, depending on the specific medical needs of the student. Extra time on tests, assistive technology use, and classroom environment adjustments are all examples of accommodations that students with other health impairments (OHI) might require. It’s important to know that in some cases, a child may have a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) without an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
- Staff Education: Educating staff and students about the student’s medical needs and any necessary accommodations or support is vital. It is also essential to educate staff and students about the student’s disability. It can help ensure that everyone is aware of the student’s needs and that they can receive support from those around them. You can find more comprehensive information on conditions like ADHD from sources like the American Psychiatric Association.
- Monitor Progress: It is essential to closely monitor the student’s progress and make necessary adjustments to their accommodations or supports. Monitoring the student’s progress as closely as possible is also crucial. It can make it more likely that the student will be able to participate in the educational program to the fullest extent possible.
To summarize, it is essential to maintain close communication with the student’s healthcare team and to take the initiative to meet the student’s medical requirements to guarantee that the student will have equal educational opportunities.
Are Other Health Impairments Treatment Legally Required?
Students with disabilities, including those with Other Health Impairments, are entitled to a free and appropriate education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
This federal law mandates the provision of such an education by the states. IDEA affords students with OHI the right to receive special education and other related services to participate in their educational program to the fullest extent possible.
Occupational Health Illness (OHI) is not a treatment in and of itself; however, the accommodations and supports provided to students with OHI may involve medical treatment or other healthcare services to meet their needs. A student who has diabetes, for instance, may need insulin injections or other medical treatment to manage their condition. According to IDEA, this treatment may be considered a related service for managing the student’s condition.
It is essential to remember that the specific accommodations and supports provided to a student with OHI will vary depending on their needs and the goals established for the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).
The Individualized Education Program, also known as an IEP, is a document outlining the student’s goals and the accommodations and supports the school will provide to assist the student in achieving those goals. A group of educators, which may include the student’s parents or legal guardians, formulate the IEP, which undergoes periodic revision and revision consistently.
Challenging Specific Health Impairments
A student may be eligible for special education services under the Other Health Impairment (OHI) category if they have one of the many health conditions that fall into this category. Depending on the specific nature of the impairment and severity, some of these impairments may be more challenging to treat or manage than others. It will be the case regardless of which impairments the team discusses.
So, what is an example of an OHI?
For instance, to maintain control over a condition that results from specific health impairments, such as epilepsy or diabetes, it may be necessary to undergo ongoing medical treatment or management. Other impairments, such as a broken bone or a concussion, maybe more temporary and require less intensive treatment. If this is the case, they may not require treatment.
It is important to remember that the specific accommodations and supports required for a student with an OHI will vary depending on their needs and the goals established for the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).
The Individualized Education Program, also known as an IEP, is a document that outlines the student’s goals and the accommodations and supports that the school will provide to assist the student in achieving those goals. A group of educators, which may include the student’s parents or legal guardians, formulate the IEP, which undergoes periodic revision and revision consistently.
One may consider several factors when determining a student’s eligibility for special education services under the Other Health Impairment (OHI) category.
Here is a helpful checklist for deciding eligibility for OHI:
- Does the student suffer from chronic or acute health conditions that hinder their learning?
- Does the student’s health substantially influence academic performance, social skills, or behavior?
- Is the student’s health condition causing significant academic delays or challenges?
- Does the student require special education and related services to participate in their educational program fully?
- Have other interventions or accommodations, such as those provided through the Response to Intervention (RTI) process, been attempted and proven insufficient to meet the student’s needs?
Notably, these are only some factors one may consider when determining a student’s eligibility for special education services under the OHI category. Collaborating with a team of educators, including a special education instructor, is essential to evaluate students’ needs and determine the best course of action.
Jennifer Hanson is a dedicated and seasoned writer specializing in the field of special education. With a passion for advocating for the rights and needs of children with diverse learning abilities, Jennifer uses her pen to educate, inspire, and empower both educators and parents alike.