Orthopedic Impairment

Orthopedic impairment means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, spina bifida, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).

In Montana: 48 students ages 6-21 officially received special education services based on a classification of orthopedic impairment during the 2011-2012 school year.

Nationally: The U.S. Department of Education reports 6,429,431 students received special education services during the 2011-2012 school year. Of that number, roughly 1.1%, or 52,052 students, received special education services based on a classification of orthopedic impairments.

Administrative Rules of Montana
Criteria for Identification of Student as Having Orthopedic Impairment


Cerebral Palsy Fact Sheet- National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)

National Association of Special Education Teachers
This site provides more detailed information and resources for a variety of orthopedic impairments including spinal muscular atrophies, spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, poliomyelitis, muscular dystrophy, hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, brachial plexus (Erb's Palsy), and a number of bone diseases.

Project Ideal: Informing and Designing Education For All Learners
This website includes basic background information on the different types of orthopedic impairments, teaching strategies, and links to other resources.