More students with disabilities are being educated alongside their typically-developing peers, according to new federal data. Nearly 95 percent of kids with disabilities spent at least part of their day in a regular education classroom in 2016. Over half — 63 percent — were in such classes at least 80 percent of the time, and that’s up roughly 6 percent from a decade prior.
The figures come from a U.S. Department of Education report to Congress about implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.This report indicates that more than 6 million students ages 6 to 21 received special education services in the nation’s schools in 2016.
Among students served under IDEA, almost 40 percent were classified as having a specific learning disability. The next most common diagnoses were speech or language impairment, other health impairment, autism, intellectual disability and emotional disturbance.
The percentage of students identified as having autism more than doubled between 2007 and 2016, the Education Department noted, rising from 0.4 percent to 0.9 percent. The increase was gradual and occurred across all age groups.