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Table 50. Children 3 to 21 years old served under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, by type of disability: Selected years, 1976-77 through 2007-08
Type of disability 1976-77 1980-81 1990-91 1995-96 1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-081
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 5,572 5,908 6,056 6,195 6,296 6,407 6,523 6,634 6,719 6,713 6,686 6,606
Specific learning disabilities 796 1,462 2,129 2,578 2,727 2,790 2,834 2,868 2,861 2,848 2,831 2,798 2,735 2,665 2,573
Speech or language impairments 1,302 1,168 985 1,022 1,060 1,068 1,080 1,409 1,391 1,412 1,441 1,463 1,468 1,475 1,456
Mental retardation 961 830 534 571 589 597 600 624 616 602 593 578 556 534 500
Emotional disturbance 283 347 389 437 454 462 469 481 483 485 489 489 477 464 442
Hearing impairments 88 79 58 67 69 70 71 78 78 78 79 79 79 80 79
Orthopedic impairments 87 58 49 63 67 69 71 83 83 83 77 73 71 69 67
Other health impairments2  141 98 55 133 190 220 253 303 350 403 464 521 570 611 641
Visual impairments 38 31 23 25 26 26 26 29 28 29 28 29 29 29 29
Multiple disabilities 68 96 93 106 106 111 133 136 138 140 140 141 142 138
Deaf-blindness 3 1 1 1 2 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Autism 28 42 53 65 94 114 137 163 191 223 258 296
Traumatic brain injury 9 12 13 14 16 22 22 23 24 24 25 25
Developmental delay 2 12 19 178 242 283 305 332 339 333 358
Preschool disabled3 390 544 565 568 581
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 46.2 46.1 45.7 45.5 44.7 43.7 42.7 41.6 40.7 39.9 39.0
Speech or language impairments 35.2 28.2 20.9 18.3 17.9 17.6 17.4 22.4 21.7 21.6 21.7 21.8 21.9 22.1 22.0
Mental retardation 26.0 20.0 11.3 10.2 10.0 9.9 9.7 9.9 9.6 9.2 8.9 8.6 8.3 8.0 7.6
Emotional disturbance 7.7 8.4 8.3 7.8 7.7 7.6 7.6 7.6 7.5 7.4 7.4 7.3 7.1 6.9 6.7
Hearing impairments 2.4 1.9 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.1 1.2 1.2 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 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.2 1.1 1.1 1.0 1.0
Other health impairments2  3.8 2.4 1.2 2.4 3.2 3.6 4.1 4.8 5.5 6.2 7.0 7.7 8.5 9.1 9.7
Visual impairments 1.0 0.7 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4
Multiple disabilities 1.6 2.0 1.7 1.8 1.8 1.8 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1
Deaf-blindness 0.1 # # # # # # # # # # # # #
Autism 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.0 1.5 1.8 2.1 2.5 2.8 3.3 3.9 4.5
Traumatic brain injury 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.4 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 5.0 5.4
Preschool disabled3 8.3 9.8 9.6 9.4 9.4
Number served as a percent of total enrollment4 
All disabilities 8.3 10.1 11.4 12.4 12.8 13.0 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.7 13.8 13.7 13.6 13.4
Specific learning disabilities 1.8 3.6 5.2 5.8 5.9 6.0 6.0 6.1 6.0 5.9 5.8 5.7 5.6 5.4 5.2
Speech or language impairments 2.9 2.9 2.4 2.3 2.3 2.3 2.3 3.0 2.9 2.9 3.0 3.0 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 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.1 1.1 1.0
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 0.9 0.9
Hearing impairments 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 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 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1
Other health impairments2  0.3 0.2 0.1 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.3
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 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3
Deaf-blindness # # # # # # # # # # # # # #
Autism 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.6
Traumatic brain injury # # # # # # # # # # 0.1 0.1
Developmental delay # # # 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7
Preschool disabled3 0.9 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2
—Not available.
†Not applicable.
#Rounds to zero.
1 Data do not include Vermont, for which 2007-08 data were not available. In 2006-07, the total number of 3- to 21-year-olds served in Vermont was 14,010.
2 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.
3 Prior to 1990-91 and after 1999-2000, preschool children are included in the counts by disability condition. For other years, preschool children are not included in the counts by disability condition, but are separately reported.
4 Based on the total enrollment in public schools, prekindergarten through 12th grade.
NOTE: Prior to October 1994, children and youth with disabilities were served under Chapter 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as well as under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B. Data reported in this table for years prior to 1994-95 include children ages 0-21 served under Chapter 1. Data are for the 50 states and the District of Columbia only. 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 Programs, Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, selected years, 1979 through 2007; and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) database, retrieved April 14, 2009, from http://www.ideadata.org/PartBdata.asp. National Center for Education Statistics, Statistics of Public Elementary and Secondary School Systems, 1977 and 1980; Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Survey of Public Elementary/Secondary Education," 1990-91 through 2007–08. (This table was prepared September 2009.)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education