The early development and eventual success in school of CSHCN can be promoted and supported by participation in Early Intervention and Special Education programs. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides specialized therapies to children under age 3 with developmental delays (under Part C) and special education and education-related health care services to children aged 3 years and older (under Part B).

Of CSHCN under age 3, 27.0 percent were reported to receive services through the Part C Early Intervention program; this percentage did not vary significantly by sex. Of CSHCN aged 3 through 17, 29.6 percent receive special education services. This percentage is higher for boys than for girls (33.8 percent compared to 23.5 percent). Children in low-income families are also more likely to use special education services: 34.3 percent of CSHCN with family incomes below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) did so, compared to 24.5 percent of CSHCN with family incomes of 400 percent of the FPL or more.

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