In simple terms Severe disabilities are defined as
- Significant disability in intellectual, physical, and/or social functioning
- Usually requires ongoing supports.
- Includes moderate, severe, and profound ranges or intellectual disabilities (IQ score below 40).
- Can include individuals with Down Syndrome, ASD, Deaf-Blindness, Cerebral Palsy and more.
Persons with severe disabilities are: "individuals of all ages who require extensive ongoing support in more than one major life activity in order to participate in integrated community settings and to enjoy a quality of life that is available to citizens with fewer or no disabilities"
Severe profound disabilities
Students who have severe-profound disabilities are those who:
- have primary disabilities that severely impair cognitive, adaptive skills and life functioning
- may have associated severe behavior problems
- may have a high probability of additional physical and/or sensory disabilities
- require significantly more educational resources than are provided for children with mild or moderate disabilities
Characteristics of children with Severe Disabilities:
- Some have diminished cognitive functioning affecting abstract thinking, learning, attention, and memory.
- Many have significant physical, health, and communication needs.
- Significant developmental delays (including speech, personal-social skills, behavior, motor, learning, attention, memory, mobility, etc.)
- Difficulty learning self-care skills
- Need for repetition to acquire skills
- Difficulty in the transfer and generalization of skills
- Slow acquisition rates for learning new skills
- Poor generalization and maintenance of newly learned skills
- Limited communication skills
- Impaired physical and motor development
- Deficits in self-help skills
- Stereotypic and challenging behavior