Speech-Language Impairments Rank First, Second Highest By Age Speech or language impairments are the most prevalent disability category for children ages 3–5 served under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the second-most prevalent disability category for students ages 6 through 21. These figures, from the 37th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   April 01, 2016
Speech-Language Impairments Rank First, Second Highest By Age
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Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Language Disorders / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   April 01, 2016
Speech-Language Impairments Rank First, Second Highest By Age
The ASHA Leader, April 2016, Vol. 21, 13. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB4.21042016.13
The ASHA Leader, April 2016, Vol. 21, 13. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB4.21042016.13
Speech or language impairments are the most prevalent disability category for children ages 3–5 served under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the second-most prevalent disability category for students ages 6 through 21.
These figures, from the 37th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 2015, are based on students served in 2013. The report examines data related to the provision of IDEA Part B (for children ages 3–21 with disabilities who need special education and related services) and Part C (early intervention services for children from birth through age 2 with disabilities and their families).
Other information from the report indicates that:
  • The most prevalent disability category for students ages 6 through 21 served under Part B continues to be specific learning disabilities (39.5 percent), followed by speech or language impairments (17.9 percent).

  • For children ages 3–5 served under Part B, the speech or language impairment prevalence (44.2 percent) was followed by developmental delay (37.1 percent) and autism (8.4 percent).

  • Hispanic or Latino students ages 6–21 were more likely to be served under Part B than same-age students in all other racial/ethnic groups combined for hearing impairments (1.34 times more likely), orthopedic impairments (1.21 times more likely), specific learning disabilities (1.29 times more likely), and speech and language impairments (1.06 times more likely).

  • Speech or language impairments were the second- or third-most prevalent category for students ages 6–21 in every racial/ethnic group.

  • More than eight in 10 students (87.1 percent) in the speech or language impairments category spent at least 80 percent of the school day in regular education classes.

For more information, contact Catherine D. Clarke, ASHA’s director of education and regulatory advocacy, cclarke@asha.org or 800-498-2071, ext. 5611.
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April 2016
Volume 21, Issue 4