Exceptional Education

  • Areas of Qualifications

    Autism - A developmental disability that significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction generally evident before age three that adversely affects educational performance.

    Deaf-Blindness - A combination of both 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 children with deafness or children with blindness.

    Developmental Delay - A delay that adversely affects daily life and/or educational performance in one or more of the following developmental areas:
    1.     Adaptive
    2.     Cognitive
    3.     Communication
    4.     Social or emotional and/or
    5.     Physical

    Emotional Disability - A condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance:
    1.     An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors;
    2.     An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;
    3.     Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances;
    4.     A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression;
    5.     A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

    Hearing Impairment - An impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both deaf and hard of hearing.

    Intellectual Disability - Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with significant limitations in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects the child's educational performance.

    Multiple Disabilities - A combination of at least 2 other impairments that qualify the student for special education services. The combination of thr disabilities must cause 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.

    Orthopedic Impairment – A severe orthopedic impairment must adversely affect the child's educational performance. If a medical diagnosis is presented, the medical diagnosis alone is not enough to justify being identified in the area of orthopedic impairment.

    Other Health Impairment  - Limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment and is due to chronic or acute health problems. The impairment must adversely affect educational performance.

    Specific Learning Disability - A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, or to do mathematical calculations. 

    Speech and Language Impairment - A communication disorder in the area of articulation, voice, fluency, or language that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

    Traumatic Brain Injury - 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 educational performance.

    Visual Impairment - A visual impairment that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance.


    Child Find

    • It is the responsibility of Vestavia Hills City Schools to develop and implement procedures that ensure all children within its jurisdiction, birth to twenty-one, regardless of the severity of their disability and who needs special education and related services are identified, located, and evaluated.

      Teachers, parents, physicians, therapists, etc. who have concerns with a student’s developmental or academic progress can request a “Referral” to the school system to determine if the student needs specialized instruction.  Please speak with your child’s teacher, contact the school counselor, or call the Exceptional Education Department @ 205-402-5323.
    • To make a referral, please speak with your child’s teacher, contact the school counselor, or call Dr. Sandy Ritchey, Director of Exceptional Education, at 205-402-5323.
    • You can also use the appropriate statewide toll free numbers listed below:
      • Birth through 2-  1-800-543-3098  (V/TDD)
      • Alabama Relay Service- 1-800-548-2547  (voice only)