13 Child Disability Categories And Their Definition


Not all children are born perfect. Many amongst them are born with special behavioral or physical characteristics which put them in a unique situation vis-à-vis our world. In legal parlance, these characteristics are termed as disabilities and are categorized in to the following thirteen categories:

1) Autism: Autism is a disability which affects a child's ability to communicate (verbally as well as non-verbally) with the world around him. This hampers the child's ability to socially interact with others around him. These children often show resistance to change in life, engage in repetitive activities and also provide unusual responses to worldly experience.

2) Deaf-Blindness: The disability is defined as a simultaneous vision and hearing impairment. It is a type of developmental disability which hampers the child's ability to learn.

3) Deafness: In this disability the child suffers only from hearing impairment. However, just like the previous disability, it too has a far reaching consequence on the development of the child.

4) Emotional Disturbance: In this disability the child shows a combination of the following symptoms-
a) Inability to build and sustain a satisfactory emotional relationship with people around him/her.
b) Inability to learn intangible things (things which cannot be explained through reason).
c) Exhibit inappropriate emotional responses to things around him/her.
d) Being in a perpetual state of unhappiness or depression.
e) Exhibiting a fear psychosis towards things around him/her.

5) Hearing Impairment: In this type of disability the child suffers from either a pervasive or fluctuating hearing disability. The disability has a wide-ranging impact upon the child's ability to learn.

6) Mental Retardation: This disability is defined as the inability of the child's mind to properly function as an intelligent and intellectual entity. The mind does not show a tendency to adapt to the environment around it.

7) Multiple disabilities: It is defined as the simultaneous presence of above (and below) mentioned disabilities.

8) Other Health Impairments: In this type of disability a child suffers from lack of alertness, strength, and vitality. The child also shows a heightened response to environmental stimuli which then affects its ability to concentrate. This then results in the lack of concentration while studying.

9) Orthopedic Impairment: The prevalence of orthopedic anomalies forces the child's concentration away from studies and towards the disability itself.

10) Specific Learning Disability: This is a type of specific learning disability in which the child exhibits an inability to learn a specific thing (such as inability to do mathematical calculations) while being capable of performing well in other educational exercises.

11) Speech and Language Impairment: In this type of disability the child's capability to enter into a fluid conversation with others is hampered by disabilities such as impaired articulation, stuttering, a language or voice impairment.

12) Traumatic Brain Injury: This type of disability is acquired through an injury (physical or psychological) to the brain that results in impairment in one or more areas.

13) Vision Impairment: In this type of disability the child's ability to see (even with correction) is severely hampered. Its result is seen directly on the child's ability to read and acquire knowledge.