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Disability Scoop: Between 2008 and 2017 autism increased 160% for those aged 18-21

Feb 24, 2020, Disability Scoop: Ed Department: More Students Being Served Under IDEA The number of American schoolchildren receiving special education services is on the rise and they’re increasingly being served in mainstream classrooms at least part of the day. More than 6.1 million students across the country ages 6 to 21 — or 9.2 percent of all kids — were served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available. That’s up from 8.6 percent of children in 2008. The figures come from a report to Congress issued this month by the U.S. Department of Education. The agency is required to report annually on its progress implementing IDEA. Among students in special education in 2017, the largest group — 38.2 percent — had a diagnosis of specific learning disability followed by speech or language impairment, other health impairment, autism and intellectual disability. The percentage of students identified as having autism rose gradually between 2008 and 2017 across all age groups, the report found. However, the growth was most striking for those ages 18 to 21 who saw more than a 160 percent increase in diagnoses over the time period.


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