Eligibility for Special Education under designation of Cognitive Impairment


The MDE Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE) define eligibility for special education services within thirteen (13) categories of disability. You can view the full MARSE document on MDE’s webpage.

R 340.1702 Student with a disability defined.
Rule 2. “Student with a disability” means a person who is determined by an individualized education program team or a hearing officer to have 1 or more of the impairments specified in this part that necessitates special education or related services, or both, who is not more than 25 years of age as of September 1 of the school year of enrollment, who has not completed a normal course of study, and who has not graduated from high school. A student who reaches the age of 26 years after September 1 is a “student with a disability” and entitled to continue a special education program or service until the end of that school year.

R 340.1705 Cognitive impairment defined; determination.
Rule 5. (1) Cognitive impairment shall be manifested during the developmental period and be determined through the demonstration of all of the following behavioral characteristics:
(a) Development at a rate at or below approximately 2 standard deviations below the mean as determined through intellectual assessment.
(b) Scores approximately within the lowest 6 percentiles on a standardized test in reading and arithmetic. This requirement will not apply if the student is not of an age, grade, or mental age appropriate for formal or standardized achievement tests.
(c) Lack of development primarily in the cognitive domain.
(d) Impairment of adaptive behavior.
(e) Adversely affects a student’s educational performance.

(2) A determination of impairment shall be based upon a comprehensive evaluation by a multidisciplinary evaluation team, which shall include a psychologist.

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