Spanish for Educators – Talking About 13 Disability Categories in Spanish


In this Maestro Miércoles lesson you will learn how talk about 13 disability categories in Spanish with parents and guardians: 13 categorías de discapacidades.

Su reto profesional: use this new vocabulary to talk about these disability categories in Spanish with parents / tutors who are interested in discussing special education for their children.

In this lesson, teachers will learn:

  • How to express in Spanish the 13 categories of disabilities the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has established in order for students to receive Special Education Services.
  • Steps to determine if a child is eligible for receiving the special education services.
  • Key vocabulary to talk about these 13 categories of disabilities.

Here is the Spanish lesson I taught to my Maestro Miércoles Facebook group:

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Download the 13 Disability Categories in Spanish Notes TODAY

If you are interested in learning how to answer parent / guardian questions regarding special education in Spanish, check this post 🙂

Speaking in General Terms / Hablando en términos generales

Para determinar si su hijo necesita educación especial, el distrito escolar tiene que hacer una evaluación educativa para determinar su elegibilidad.

No todos los niños con dificultades de aprendizaje y de atención cumplen con los requisitos para obtener los servicios de educación especial.

IDEA —> La Ley para la Educación de los Individuos con Discapacidades

  • Es la ley federal (federal law) que define y regula la educación especial.
  • Exige (it requires) que las escuelas proporcionen (to provide) educación especial y servicios relacionados a los estudiantes elegibles.
  • No todos los estudiantes con dificultades de aprendizaje o de atención califican.

Para estar cubiertos… Hay 13 categorías de discapacidades incluidas en IDEA

These 13 disability categories include:

Impedimento AuditivoHearing Impairment
Discapacidad intelectual (retraso mental)Intellectual disability (mental retardation)
Discapacidad específica de aprendizajeSpecific learning disability
Dificultades de atención Attention difficulties

Learning Disabilities / Las discapacidades del aprendizaje

Las condiciones en este grupo afectan la habilidad del estudiante para leer (to read), escribir (to write), escuchar (to listen to), hablar (to talk), razonar (to reason), hacer las matemáticas (to do the Maths):

Trastornos del procesamiento auditivoAuditory processing disorders
Discapacidades del aprendizaje no verbal Disabilities of non-verbal learning

Health Impairment / Impedimento de Salud

Son condiciones que limitan:

La fortalezaThe strength
La energíaThe energy
El estado de alerta del estudianteThe student’s alertness
La atenciónThe attention
TDAH —> Trastorno por Déficit de Atención e HiperactividadADHD —> Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder / Trastorno del Espectro Autista

ASD (TEA en español) o autismo afecta:

Las destrezas socialesSocial skills
La comunicación del individuoThe communication of the individual
La conductaThe conduct

Download the 13 Disability Categories in Spanish Notes TODAY

Emotional Disorder / Trastorno Emocional

This condition affects the functional behavior and social / personal relations because the person is struggling with feelings and thoughts they might not control or understand.

Trastornos de ansiedadAnxiety disorders
Trastorno bipolarBipolar disorder
Trastorno obsesivo-compulsivoObsessive-compulsive disorder

Speech or Language Impairment / Impedimento del habla o el lenguaje

This kind of disorder refers to problems of communication or other related areas, such as oral motor functions.

Impedimento de la articulaciónJoint impediment
Impedimento del lenguajeLanguage impairment
Impedimento de la voz Voice impairment

Visual Impairment / Impedimento Visual

La cegueraThe blindness
Problemas de visiónVision problems
La visión parcialPartial vision

Hearing Impairments / Impedimentos Auditivos

La sorderaDeafness
Una pérdida de audición (no sordera)A hearing loss (no deafness)
La sordoceguera —> chicos que tienen impedimentos visuales y auditivos Deaf blindness —> children who have visual and auditory impairments

Orthopedic Impediment / Impedimento ortopédico

Cualquier impedimento del cuerpo

Intellectual Disability / Discapacidad intelectual

Síndrome de Down

Traumatic Brain Injury / Lesión Cerebral Traumática

Es una lesión cerebral causado por un accidente / It’s a brain injury caused by an accident

Multiple Disabilities / Discapacidades múltiples

Un estudiante con discapacidades múltiples tiene más de una condición cubierta por IDEA.

Evaluation – Eligibility / Evaluación – Elegibilidad

Si sospecha (to suspect) que su hijo tiene dificultades de aprendizaje (o de atención), la directora de la escuela tiene que hacer 2 cosas…

Paso 1- Evaluación  / Step 1 – Evaluation

  • Tiene que determinar si tiene una discapacidad “cubierta”
  • Si el / la estudiante es elegible… check this post 🙂

Paso 2 – Elegibilidad / Step 2 – Eligibility

Si es elegible, el próximo paso será crear un Programa de Educación Individualizado (IEP).

¡Ahora es tu turno! / Now It’s Your Turn!

Hit reply and tell me the vocabulary words that are most relevant for you. I’m serious, I really do want to know. ¡Mil gracias!

Study all of this classroom vocabulary in Spanish with these flashcards!

Download the lesson notes and start creating your own sentences using this new vocabulary in Spanish and share them on the comments below or in our Facebook group to receive feedback from other Spanish learners ?

I packaged all of this into easily downloadable .pdf notes– Get your copy for free today!

Download the 13 Disability Categories in Spanish Notes TODAY

¡Arriésguense, abran la boca y cometan errores!

2 thoughts on “Spanish for Educators – Talking About 13 Disability Categories in Spanish”

  1. This is so great! Can you provide the vocabulary for talking to parents about ADHD & ODD and classroom accommodations.

    As a Social Worker, I need to have conversations with Spanish speaking parents to destigmatize mental health services and educate them about these disorders and what help is available. I also need to make referrals to community agencies. Lots of technical vocabulary.

    Thank you.

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