A. Visual impairments in children. Impairment of central visual acuity should be determined with use of the standard Snellen test chart. Where this cannot be used, as in very young children, a complete description should be provided of the findings using other appropriate methods of examination, including a description of the techniques used for determining the central visual acuity for distance.
The accommodative reflex is generally not present in children under 6 months of age. In premature infants, it may not be present until 6 months plus the number of months the child is premature. Therefore absence of accommodative reflex will be considered as indicating a visual impairment only in children above this age (6 months).
Documentation of a visual disorder must include description of the ocular pathology.
B. Hearing impairments in children. The criteria for hearing impairments in children take into account that a lesser impairment in hearing which occurs at an early age may result in a severe speech and language disorder.
Improvement by a hearing aid, as predicted by the testing procedure, must be demonstrated to be feasible in that child, since younger children may be unable to use a hearing aid effectively.The type of audiometric testing performed must be described and a copy of the results must be included. The pure tone air conduction hearing levels in 102.08 are based on American National Standard Institute Specifications for Audiometers, S3.6-1969 (ANSI-1969). The report should indicate the specifications used to calibrate the audiometer.
The finding of a severe impairment will be based on the average hearing levels at 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000 Hertz (Hz) in the better ear, and on speech discrimination, as specified in Sec. 102.08.
102.01 Category of Impairments, Special Sense Organs
102.02 Impairments of central visual acuity.
A. Remaining vision in the better eye after best correction is 20/200 or less; or
B. For children below 3 years of age at time of adjudication:
1. Absence of accommodative reflex (see 102.00A for exclusion of children under 6 months of age); or
2. Retrolental fibroplasia with macular scarring or neovascularization; or
3. Bilateral congenital cataracts with visualization of retinal red reflex only or when associated with other ocular pathology.
102.08 Hearing impairments.
A. For children below 5 years of age at time of adjudication, inability to hear air conduction thresholds at an average of 40 decibels (db) hearing level or greater in the better ear; or
B. For children 5 years of age and above at time of adjudication:
1. Inability to hear air conduction thresholds at an average of 70 decibels (db) or greater in the better ear; or
2. Speech discrimination scores at 40 percent or less in the better ear; or
3. Inability to hear air conduction thresholds at an average of 40 decibels (db) or greater in the better ear, and a speech and language disorder which significantly affects the clarity and content of the speech and is attributable to the hearing impairment.