Other Health Impaired (OHI)

Morgan Botha & Winnie Zhang

What is OHI?

IDEA states that OHI means "limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli" due to chronic or acute health problems that include


  • asthma
  • ADD/ADHD
  • diabetes
  • epilepsy
  • heart condition
  • hemophilia
  • lead poisoning
  • leukemia
  • nephritis
  • rheumatic fever
  • sickle cell anemia
  • Tourette syndrome

*This can also effect a child's educational performance


OHI's that fall outside of IDEA's definition

  • Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
  • bipolar disorder
  • dysphasia

Why are these conditions not included under IDEA?
  • "…because these conditions are commonly understood to be health impairments…The list of acute or chronic health conditions in the definition of other health impairment is not exhaustive, but rather provides examples of problems that children have that could make them eligible for special education and related services under the category of other health impairment."
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What kind of help do these students qualify for?

Early intervention services for children under the age of 3
  • families receive a uniquely designed individualized family service plan (IFSP)
Special education and related services for individuals ranging from ages 3 - 21 and sometimes older

  • receive specially designed instruction and wide range of supports
  • available free of charge through the public school system
  • includes comprehension and individualized evaluation of student

IEP teams tend to place students in the OHI category when a student does not fall under a specific IDEA category.

Life at School

Students who qualify for special education are also eligible to obtain related services at school. These include:


  • medical services, "provided for diagnostic and evaluative purposes only"
  • school health services and school nurse services


Health related support includes:


  • special services
  • clean intermittent catheterization
  • suctioning
  • administering and/or dispensing medication
  • planning for the safety of the child in school
  • ensuring care is given while at school and if they attend school functions
  • chronic disease management