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Did You Know ....
Learning Disabilities and the Educational System
Percentage distribution of disabled persons 3 to 21 years old receiving education services
for the disabled, by age group and educational environment: 1996-97
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                   |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |         |
        Type of disability         |1976-77|1980-81|1985-86|1986-87|1987-88|1988-89|1989-90|1990-91|1991-92|1992-93|1993-94|1994-95|1995-96| 1996-97 |1997-98
___________________________________|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_________|_______
                 1                 |   2   |   3   |   4   |   5   |   6   |   7   |   8   |   9   |  10   |  11   |  12   |  13   |  14   |   15    |  16
___________________________________|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_________|_______
                                   |                                   Number served,\1\ in thousands                                      |         |
                                   |_______ _______________________________________________________________________________________________|_________|_______
   All disabilities ...............| 3,692 | 4,142 | 4,317 | 4,374 | 4,447 | 4,527 | 4,641 | 4,761 | 4,949 | 5,176 | 5,365 | 5,378 | 5,573 |   5,729 | 5,904
                                   |_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_________|_______
Specific learning disabilities ....|   796 | 1,462 | 1,862 | 1,914 | 1,928 | 1,970 | 2,050 | 2,130 | 2,234 | 2,351 | 2,408 | 2,489 | 2,579 |   2,649 | 2,726
Speech or language impairments ....| 1,302 | 1,168 | 1,125 | 1,136 |   953 |   967 |   973 |   985 |   997 |   994 | 1,014 | 1,015 | 1,022 |   1,043 | 1,059
Mental retardation ................|   959 |   829 |   660 |   643 |   582 |   564 |   548 |   534 |   538 |   518 |   536 |   555 |   570 |     579 |   589
Serious emotional disturbance .....|   283 |   346 |   375 |   383 |   373 |   376 |   381 |   390 |   399 |   400 |   414 |   427 |   438 |     445 |   453
Hearing impairments ...............|    87 |    79 |    66 |    65 |    56 |    56 |    57 |    58 |    60 |    60 |    64 |    64 |    67 |      68 |    69
Orthopedic impairments ........... |    87 |    58 |    57 |    57 |    47 |    47 |    48 |    49 |    51 |    52 |    56 |    60 |    63 |      66 |    67
Other health impairments ..........|   141 |    98 |    57 |    52 |    45 |    43 |    52 |    55 |    58 |    65 |    82 |   106 |   133 |     160 |   190
Visual impairments ................|    38 |    31 |    27 |    26 |    22 |    23 |    22 |    23 |    24 |    23 |    24 |    24 |    25 |      25 |    25
Multiple disabilities .............|   --- |    68 |    86 |    97 |    77 |    85 |    86 |    96 |    97 |   102 |   108 |    88 |    93 |      98 |   106
Deaf-blindness ....................|   --- |     3 |     2 |     2 |     1 |     2 |     2 |     1 |     1 |     1 |     1 |     1 |     1 |       1 |     1
Autism and traumatic brain injury .|   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |     5 |    19 |    24 |    29 |    39 |      44 |    54
Developmental delay ...............|   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |     --- |     2
Preschool disabled \2\.............| (\3\) | (\3\) | (\3\) | (\3\) |   363 |   394 |   422 |   441 |   484 |   590 |   634 |   519 |   544 |     552 |   564
                                   |_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_________|_______
                                   |                               Percentage distribution of children served
                                   |_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
   All disabilities ...............| 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 |   100.0 | 100.0
                                   |_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_________|_______
Specific learning disabilities ....|  21.6 |  35.3 |  43.1 |  43.8 |  43.4 |  43.6 |  44.2 |  44.7 |  45.1 |  45.4 |  44.9 |  46.3 |  46.3 |    46.2 |  46.2
Speech or language impairments ....|  35.3 |  28.2 |  26.1 |  26.0 |  21.4 |  21.1 |  21.0 |  20.7 |  20.2 |  19.2 |  18.9 |  18.9 |  18.3 |    18.2 |  17.9
Mental retardation ................|  26.0 |  20.0 |  15.3 |  14.7 |  13.1 |  12.7 |  11.8 |  11.2 |  10.9 |  10.0 |  10.0 |  10.3 |  10.2 |    10.1 |  10.0
Serious emotional disturbance .....|   7.7 |   8.4 |   8.7 |   8.8 |   8.4 |   8.3 |   8.2 |   8.2 |   8.1 |   7.7 |   7.7 |   7.9 |   7.9 |     7.8 |   7.7
Hearing impairments ...............|   2.4 |   1.9 |   1.5 |   1.5 |   1.3 |   1.3 |   1.2 |   1.2 |   1.2 |   1.2 |   1.2 |   1.2 |   1.2 |     1.2 |   1.2
Orthopedic impairments ............|   2.4 |   1.4 |   1.3 |   1.3 |   1.1 |   1.1 |   1.0 |   1.0 |   1.0 |   1.0 |   1.0 |   1.1 |   1.1 |     1.2 |   1.1
Other health impairments ..........|   3.8 |   2.4 |   1.3 |   1.2 |   1.0 |   1.0 |   1.1 |   1.2 |   1.2 |   1.3 |   1.5 |   2.0 |   2.4 |     2.8 |   3.2
Visual impairments ................|   1.0 |   0.7 |   0.6 |   0.6 |   0.5 |   0.5 |   0.5 |   0.5 |   0.5 |   0.4 |   0.4 |   0.4 |   0.4 |     0.4 |   0.4
Multiple disabilities .............|   --- |   1.6 |   2.0 |   2.2 |   1.7 |   1.8 |   1.9 |   2.0 |   2.0 |   2.0 |   2.0 |   1.6 |   1.7 |     1.7 |   1.8
Deaf-blindness ....................|   --- |   0.1 | (\4\) | (\4\) | (\4\) | (\4\) | (\4\) | (\4\) | (\4\) | (\4\) | (\4\) | (\4\) | (\4\) |   (\4\) | (\4\)
Autism and traumatic brain injury .|   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   0.1 |   0.4 |   0.4 |   0.5 |   0.7 |     0.8 |   0.9
Developmental delay ...............|   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |     --- | (\4\)
Preschool disabled \2\.............| (\3\) | (\3\) | (\3\) | (\3\) |   8.2 |   8.7 |   9.1 |   9.3 |   9.8 |  11.4 |  11.8 |   9.7 |   9.8 |     9.6 |   9.6
                                   |_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_________|_______
                                   |                              Number served as a percent of total enrollment\5\                        |         |
                                   |_______________________________________________________________________________________________________|_________|_______
   All disabilities ...............|  8.33 | 10.13 | 10.95 | 11.00 | 11.11 | 11.26 | 11.44 | 11.55 | 11.77 | 12.08 | 12.34 | 12.19 | 12.43 |   12.56 | 12.80
                                   |_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_________|_______
Specific learning disabilities ....|  1.80 |  3.58 |  4.72 |  4.81 |  4.82 |  4.90 |  5.06 |  5.17 |  5.31 |  5.49 |  5.54 |  5.64 |  5.75 |    5.81 |  5.91
Speech or language impairments ....|  2.94 |  2.86 |  2.85 |  2.86 |  2.38 |  2.41 |  2.40 |  2.39 |  2.37 |  2.32 |  2.33 |  2.30 |  2.28 |    2.29 |  2.30
Mental retardation ................|  2.16 |  2.03 |  1.68 |  1.62 |  1.45 |  1.40 |  1.35 |  1.30 |  1.28 |  1.21 |  1.23 |  1.26 |  1.27 |    1.27 |  1.28
Serious emotional disturbance .....|  0.64 |  0.85 |  0.95 |  0.96 |  0.93 |  0.94 |  0.94 |  0.95 |  0.95 |  0.94 |  0.95 |  0.97 |  0.98 |    0.98 |  0.98
Hearing impairments ...............|  0.20 |  0.19 |  0.17 |  0.16 |  0.14 |  0.14 |  0.14 |  0.14 |  0.14 |  0.14 |  0.15 |  0.15 |  0.15 |    0.15 |  0.15
Orthopedic impairments ............|  0.20 |  0.14 |  0.14 |  0.14 |  0.12 |  0.12 |  0.12 |  0.12 |  0.12 |  0.12 |  0.13 |  0.14 |  0.14 |    0.14 |  0.15
Other health impairments ..........|  0.32 |  0.24 |  0.14 |  0.13 |  0.11 |  0.11 |  0.13 |  0.13 |  0.14 |  0.15 |  0.19 |  0.24 |  0.30 |    0.35 |  0.41
Visual impairments ................|  0.09 |  0.08 |  0.07 |  0.07 |  0.05 |  0.06 |  0.06 |  0.06 |  0.06 |  0.05 |  0.06 |  0.05 |  0.06 |    0.05 |  0.05
Multiple disabilities .............|   --- |  0.17 |  0.22 |  0.24 |  0.19 |  0.21 |  0.21 |  0.23 |  0.23 |  0.24 |  0.25 |  0.20 |  0.21 |    0.21 |  0.23
Deaf-blindness ....................|   --- |  0.01 |  0.01 | (\6\) | (\6\) | (\6\) | (\6\) | (\6\) | (\6\) | (\6\) | (\6\) | (\6\) | (\6\) |   (\6\) | (\6\)
Autism and traumatic brain injury .|   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |  0.01 |  0.04 |  0.06 |  0.07 |  0.09 |    0.10 |  0.12
Developmental delay ...............|   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |   --- |     --- | (\6\)
Preschool disabled \2\.............| (\3\) | (\3\) | (\3\) | (\3\) |  0.91 |  0.98 |  1.04 |  1.07 |  1.15 |  1.38 |  1.46 |  1.18 |  1.21 |    1.21 |  1.22
___________________________________|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_________|_______
\1\Includes students served under Chapter I and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), formerly the Education of the Handicapped Act. Prior to October 1994, children and youth with disabilities were served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, and Chapter 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. In October 1994, Congress passed the Improving America's Schools Act in which funding for children and youth with disabilities was consolidated under IDEA, Part B. Data reported in this table for years prior to 1993-94, include children ages 0-21 served under Chapter 1. Data reported in this table for years after 1993-94 reflect children ages 3-21 served under IDEA, Part B.
\2\Includes preschool children 3-5 years and 0-5 years served under Chapter I and IDEA, respectively.
\3\Prior to 1987-88, these students were included in the counts by handicapping condition. Beginning in 1987-88, states were no longer required to report preschool handicapped students (0-5 years) by handicapping condition.
\4\Less than 0.05 percent.
\5\Based on the enrollment in public schools, kindergarten through 12th grade, including a relatively small number of prekindergarten students.
\6\Less than .005 percent.
---Data not available.

NOTE.--Counts are based on reports from the 50 states and District of Columbia only (i.e., figures from outlying areas are not included). Increases since 1987-88 are due in part to new legislation enacted fall 1986, which mandates public school special education services for all handicapped children ages 3 through 5. Some data have been revised from previously published figures. Because of rounding, details may not add to totals.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, various years, and unpublished tabulations; and National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data survey. (This table was prepared August 1999.)

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