According to new federal statistics, inclusion of students with disabilities is increasing nationally in regular education classrooms. Many students with disabilities spend a large part of their day alongside typically-developing peers.
According to a report to Congress issued by the US Department of Education, over 60 percent of the school aged students served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act spend a majority of their school day in regular education classrooms. This is a significant increase since 2004, when roughly half the students with disabilities did so.
Over 5.8 million students ages 6 to 21 received services under IDEA in 2013. 745,000 children aged 3 to 5 received services under IDEA, as well as 339,000 infants and toddlers. The overall number of students with disabilities declined between 2004 and 2013, but the percentage of students identified with autism increased by as much as 258 percent over the 10 year period.