Early Intervention and Special Education
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides for early intervention services for young children (from birth through age 2) and special education services for older children (ages 3 and older) to minimize the effects of developmental delays and learning disabilities that could otherwise limit children's developmental and educational prospects. Early intervention includes physical, occupational, and speech therapy for young children with developmental problems, and special education programs provide therapies and educational services. Overall, 2.8 percent of children from age 1 to less than 3 years received early intervention services, while 5.4 percent of children aged 3 to less than 6 years received special education services.
For both programs, receipt of services varied by sex and household income. Boys were more likely to receive early intervention and special education services (3.4 and 7.2 percent, respectively) compared to girls (2.2 and 3.5 percent, respectively).
Among children aged 1 to less than 3 years, those with household incomes between 100 and 199 percent of the Federal poverty level (FPL) were most likely to receive early intervention services (4.2 percent), followed by 3.2 percent of those with household incomes between 200 and 399 percent of FPL, and 1.9 percent of those in the lowest and highest income categories.
Similarly, among children aged 3 to less than 6 years, those with household incomes between 100 and 199 percent of FPL were most likely to receive special education services (6.9 percent), compared to 6.1 percent of children with household incomes below poverty, and 4.9 percent of those with household incomes between 200 and 399 percent of FPL.