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Table 47. Children 3 to 21 years old served in federally supported programs for the disabled, by type of disability: Selected years, 1976-77 through 2005-06
Type of disability 1976–77 1980–81 1990–91 1994–95 1995–96 1996–97 1997–98 1998–99 1999– 2000 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
  Number served (in thousands)
All disabilities 3,694 4,144 4,710 5,378 5,572 5,737 5,908 6,056 6,195 6,296 6,407 6,523 6,634 6,719 6,713
Specific learning disabilities 796 1,462 2,129 2,489 2,578 2,651 2,727 2,790 2,834 2,868 2,861 2,848 2,831 2,798 2,735
Speech or language impairments 1,302 1,168 985 1,015 1,022 1,045 1,060 1,068 1,080 1,409 1,391 1,412 1,441 1,463 1,468
Mental retardation 961 830 534 555 571 579 589 597 600 624 616 602 593 578 556
Emotional disturbance 283 347 389 427 437 446 454 462 469 481 483 485 489 489 477
Hearing impairments 88 79 58 64 67 68 69 70 71 78 78 78 79 79 79
Orthopedic impairments 87 58 49 60 63 66 67 69 71 83 83 83 77 73 71
Other health impairments1  141 98 55 106 133 160 190 220 253 303 350 403 464 521 570
Visual impairments 38 31 23 24 25 25 26 26 26 29 28 29 28 29 29
Multiple disabilities 68 96 88 93 98 106 106 111 133 136 138 140 140 141
Deaf-blindness 3 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 2 2 2 2 2
Autism 22 28 34 42 53 65 94 114 137 163 191 223
Traumatic brain injury 7 9 10 12 13 14 16 22 22 23 24 24
Developmental delay 2 12 19 178 242 283 305 332 339
Preschool disabled2  390 519 544 555 565 568 581
  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 21.5 35.3 45.2 46.3 46.3 46.2 46.2 46.1 45.7 45.5 44.7 43.7 42.7 41.6 40.7
Speech or language impairments 35.2 28.2 20.9 18.9 18.3 18.2 17.9 17.6 17.4 22.4 21.7 21.6 21.7 21.8 21.9
Mental retardation 26.0 20.0 11.3 10.3 10.2 10.1 10.0 9.9 9.7 9.9 9.6 9.2 8.9 8.6 8.3
Emotional disturbance 7.7 8.4 8.3 7.9 7.8 7.8 7.7 7.6 7.6 7.6 7.5 7.4 7.4 7.3 7.1
Hearing impairments 2.4 1.9 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2
Orthopedic impairments 2.4 1.4 1.0 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.2 1.1 1.1
Other health impairments1  3.8 2.4 1.2 2.0 2.4 2.8 3.2 3.6 4.1 4.8 5.5 6.2 7.0 7.7 8.5
Visual impairments 1.0 0.7 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4
Multiple disabilities 1.6 2.0 1.6 1.7 1.7 1.8 1.8 1.8 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1
Deaf-blindness 0.1 # # # # # # # # # # # # #
Autism 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.9 1.0 1.5 1.8 2.1 2.5 2.8 3.3
Traumatic brain injury 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.4
Developmental delay 0.0 0.2 0.3 2.8 3.8 4.3 4.6 4.9 5.1
Preschool disabled2  8.3 9.7 9.8 9.7 9.6 9.4 9.4
  Number served as a percent of total enrollment3 
All disabilities 8.3 10.1 11.4 12.2 12.4 12.6 12.8 13.0 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.7 13.8 13.8
Specific learning disabilities 1.8 3.6 5.2 5.6 5.8 5.8 5.9 6.0 6.0 6.1 6.0 5.9 5.8 5.7 5.6
Speech or language impairments 2.9 2.9 2.4 2.3 2.3 2.3 2.3 2.3 2.3 3.0 2.9 2.9 3.0 3.0 3.0
Mental retardation 2.2 2.0 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.1
Emotional disturbance 0.6 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
Hearing impairments 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2
Orthopedic impairments 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1
Other health impairments1  0.3 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 1.0 1.1 1.2
Visual impairments 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Multiple disabilities 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3
Deaf-blindness # # # # # # # # # # # # # #
Autism # 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.5
Traumatic brain injury # # # # # # # # # # # 0.1
Developmental delay # # # 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.7
Preschool disabled2  0.9 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2
— Not available.
† Not applicable.
# Rounds to zero.
1 Other health impairments include having limited strength, vitality, or alertness due to chronic or acute health problems such as a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, or diabetes.
2 Includes preschool children ages 3–5 served under Chapter 1 and IDEA, Part B. Prior to 1987–88, these students were included in the counts by disability condition. Beginning in 1987–88, states were no longer required to report preschool children (ages 0–5) by disability condition. Beginning in 2000–01, preschool children were again identified by disability condition.
3 Based on the total enrollment in public schools, prekindergarten through 12th grade.
NOTE: Includes students served under Chapter 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and under the 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 Chapter 1 as well as IDEA, Part B. In October 1994, funding for children and youth with disabilities was consolidated under IDEA, Part B. Data reported in this table for years prior to 1994–95 include children ages 0–21 served under Chapter 1. Counts are based on reports from the 50 states and the District of Columbia only (i.e., table excludes data for other jurisdictions). Increases since 1987–88 are due in part to new legislation enacted in fall 1986, which added a mandate for public school special education services for 3- to 5-year-old disabled children. Some data have been revised from previously published figures. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
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, selected years, 1977 through 2005; and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) database, retrieved on September 22, 2006, from http://www.ideadata.org/PartBdata.asp. National Center for Education Statistics, Statistics of Public Elementary and Secondary School Systems, 1977; Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Survey of Public Elementary/Secondary Education," 1981–82 through 2004–05; and Projections of Education Statistics to 2015. (This table was prepared September 2006.)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education