What is the difference between a diagnosis and identification?

Diagnosis:

In Ontario, any diagnosis is a Controlled Act under Section 21(1) of the Regulated Health Professions Act.  According to the Act, the professional will provide the individual or his/her representative a diagnosis identifying a disease or disorder that is caused by symptoms the individual is experiencing.

Identification and Placement:

Ontario’s Education Act requires school boards to provide special education programs and services for children who require these supports. School boards are required to establish Identification, Placement, and Review Committees (IPRCs) in order to identify those students who need special education programs and services. IPRCs follow a formal process governed by provincial law (highlights of Regulation 181/98 from the Ministry of Education).

The Identification Placement Review Committee (IPRC) meets to decide whether a child should be identified as “exceptional”. An exceptional pupil is defined as a pupil whose behavioural, communication, intellectual, physical or multiple exceptionalities are such that he or she is considered to need placement in a special education program. The IPRC:

  • identifies the category and area of exceptionality
  • decides on an appropriate placement for the child who is identified as exceptional
  • reviews the identification and placement at least once in each school year

For more information on the identification process, please visit http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/speced.html.