Primary Handicapping Conditions
The terms “primary” handicapping condition and “secondary” handicapping condition are commonly used in clinical and school settings to describe individuals who have been found to have one or more educational handicaps. If a child has one handicapping condition (e.g., a learning disability in reading comprehension), he/she is seen as having a primary handicapping condition. If the child has more than one condition, he/she is viewed as having a primary and a secondary handicapping condition. It is important to differentiate between the terms disability and handicap. These terms have changed throughout recent history. When the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (also known as P.L. 94–142) was passed, the terminology used was handicap. When the law was revised later as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and most recently as the 2004 amendments to IDEA (P.L. 108–446), the term disabilitywas used. This change in terminology recognizes that those with...
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- U.S. Department of Education. (November, 2010). Thirty-five years of progress in educating children with disabilities through IDEA. Retrieved from www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/idea35/history/index.html.