Other Health Impairements - What Is an Other Health Impairment?

A Student with her Doctor
A Girl Being Examined by a Doctor. Girl with Doctor Photo by Getty

Other health impairment is a disability category included in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Other health impairment means having a disability caused by disease, condition, disorder, or injury that substantially affects strength, vitality, or alertness. To be identified with an other health impairment, the student's condition must cause a substantial impact on his educational performance.

The category also includes a "heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment. A student with attention deficit disorder, for example, who is distracted by the every day classroom environment and who cannot pay attention may be diagnosed with an other health impairment if the problem is severe enough to affect his learning.

*Other health impairments may be caused by:

  • chronic or acute health problems such as asthma;
  • attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder;
  • diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome.

*This list of possible impairments is intended as an example and does not include all possible health issues that could result in a diagnosis of other health impairment.

Also Known As: Other health impairments are sometimes called simply OHI in schools.

Alternate Spellings: Other health impairment may be spelled as other health impaired.

Examples: A child with Tourette syndrome may be diagnosed with an IDEA disorder under the category other health impairment.

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