The Special Education Department promotes opportunities for disabled students or students with special needs to participate in educational and/or extra-curricular activities.  These activities are designed to help each student achieve maximum potential.  A full range of services are available to meet the needs of those children who have been placed in the program, or who have been referred to the program for possible placement throughout the Brooks County ISD system.  Disabilities recognized by the State of Texas include Autism, Auditory Impairment, Vision Impairment, Developmental Delay, Emotional Disturbance, Mental Retardation, Orthopaedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disabilities, Speech and Language Impairment.

    Parents are welcomed to contact our office should they have questions.

From the Director
Hello, my name is Patricia A. Mendez.  I am the Director of Special Education for Brooks County I.S.D.  As the director of this program, I value the support and feedback from parents/guardians of students with disabilites.  The Admissions, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee meetings provide an opportunity for parents/guardians to provide valuable information and also participate in the decision-making process for their child(ren).

I am always available to answer any of your questions or concerns. 
Thank you and may you and your children have a very safe and productive school year!
Mrs. Patricia A. Mendez
Special Education Office

Patsy Mendez
Special Education Director

FAX:  361-325-3132
Bel C. Reyes
Monique Gutierrez Rocha
School Psychology
Hermelinda Burch
Vision Specialist
Special Education News

Prereferral Intervention Strategies

Before a student is referred for special education services, prereferral intervention strategies must be implemented by the classroom teacher and monitored by the Building Based Student Support Team (BBSST) for at least six (6) weeks. A referral is made for special education evaluation when interventions/strategies have been determined unsuccessful.


Autism is a developmental disability that significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction evident before age three that adversely affects educational performance.

Developmental Delay

A child becomes eligible for this area of disability on his/her third birthday if there is a significant delay in one or more of the following areas: 1. Adaptive development, 2. Cognitive development, 3. Communication development, 4. Social or emotional development, and/or 5. Physical development; and if the child needs special education services.


is a concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children for children with hearing or visual impairments.

Emotional Disturbance

means a disability characterized by behavioral or emotional responses so different from appropriate age, cultural, environmental, or ethnic norms that the educational performance is adversely affected. Characteristics must be exhibited over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects educational performance.

Hearing Impairment

is an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. This term includes both deaf and hard-of hearing children.

Mental Retardation

means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects the child's educational performance.

Multiple Disabilities

means concomitant impairments, the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments.

Orthopedic Impairment

is characterized by impairments caused by congenital abnormality (e.g., spina bifida), disease (e.g., Poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g., fractures or burns that cause contractures, amputation, cerebral palsy). Having a medical diagnosis alone is not enough to justify being identified in the area of orthopedic impairment. The impairment must adversely affect educational performance.

Other Health Impairment

is characterized by limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that s de to chronic or acute health problems such as a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or diabetes. Having medical diagnosis alone is not enough to justify being identified in the area of other health impairment. The impairment must adversely affect educational performance.

Specific Learning Disabilities

is characterized by a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations. children with specific learning disabilities will demonstrate a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement in one or more of the following areas: basic reading skills, reading comprehension, mathematical calculation, mathematical reasoning, oral expression, listening comprehension, or written expression. No single single criterion or specific number of characteristics can be used in identifying children with specific learning disabilities. Rather, the age-appropriateness of observed behaviors and the frequency, intensity, and duration of a child's learning problems are critical in distinguishing specific learning disabilities from learning problems resulting from such factors as low motivation, underachievement, or inadequate instruction.

Speech and Language Impairment

is characterized by a communication disorder in the area of articulation, voice, fluency, or language that adversely affects a child's educational performance.