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5 Surprising Facts You Need to Know about Special Education

1. The Number of Students Receiving Special Education Services is on the Rise

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 7 million students, or 14% of all public school students, received special education services during the 2018-2019 school year. This is an increase from previous years, suggesting that more students are being identified and provided with necessary support.

2. The Majority of Students Receiving Special Education Services Spend Most of their Day in a Regular Classroom

Contrary to popular belief, most students receiving special education services spend the majority of their day in a regular classroom rather than a separate special education classroom. This is known as inclusion, and research has shown that it benefits not only students with disabilities but also their peers without disabilities.

3. There are Over a Dozen Disability Categories under the IDEA

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), there are 13 disability categories that are eligible for special education services. These categories include specific learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, emotional disturbance, and intellectual disability, among others. It’s important to note that not all students with disabilities qualify for special education services, as eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.

4. Early Intervention is Key

Research has consistently shown that early intervention and support for children with disabilities can lead to better outcomes later in life. In fact, the earlier a child receives services and support, the more likely they are to be successful in school and in life. This is why it’s critical for parents and educators to be aware of the signs of disabilities and seek evaluation and support as early as possible.

5. There is a High Demand for Special Education Teachers

Despite the growing number of students in need of special education services, there is a shortage of qualified special education teachers. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education reports that more than 50,000 special education teachers are needed nationwide. This shortage can lead to larger class sizes, higher workloads, and burnout for teachers, and ultimately, a negative impact on students receiving services.

In conclusion, these five facts shed light on some of the most important and surprising aspects of special education. It’s clear that there is still much work to be done in terms of providing the necessary support and services for students with disabilities, and addressing the growing demand for qualified special education teachers. But by staying informed and advocating for the needs of students with disabilities, we can work towards a more inclusive and equitable education system for all.

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