Alaska Students with an FASD Eligible for Special Education

As reported in a notice from the Alaska Department of Education, Alaska has passed an education regulation change to include FASD as one of the possible qualifying health conditions for eligibility for special education.  The change also expands who can diagnose a health condition from “physician” to “physician or advanced practice registered nurse.” As a result, diagnoses from Alaska’s FASD Diagnostic Clinics headed by Advance Nurse Practitioners are recognized when an individual is seeking special education in the state.

In part, the regulations governing the qualifying requirements for the special education category “Other Health Impaired (OHI)” were changed to the following:

“(k) To be eligible for special education and related services as a child with other health impairments, a child must

(1) exhibit limited strength, vitality, or alertness due to chronic or acute health problems such as a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, diabetes, or a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, due to attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; for a child to be eligible, a health impairment must adversely affect that child’s educational performance;

(2) require special facilities, equipment, or methods to make the child’s educational program effective;

(3) be diagnosed by a physician or advanced practice registered nurse as having a health impairment described in (1) of this subsection; and

(4) be certified by the group established under 4 AAC 52.125(a) (2) as qualifying for and needing special education services.”