The relationship of early intervention to later inclusion in elementary school
This study examined the effects of early intervention factors, child characteristics, and school district polices on elementary school placements of children with disabilities. School placement data were collected on 321 children who graduated from an early intervention program between 1994 and 1998. Placements were compared to level of disability, the amount and type of early intervention received, and the special education placement practices of individual school districts.
Data indicate that 55% of the sample were initially placed in general education classes and 45% were placed in school district or separate special education classes. Placements were highly stable from kindergarten to fourth grade, with 75% of the sample having no change in placement during elementary school. Children from integrated preschool classes had the highest rate of inclusion in elementary school, with 88% initial placements in general education classes. Children from full day preschool classes progressed from 36% inclusion in general education in kindergarten to 51% inclusion in third grade. Findings of this study suggest that early intervention factors, disability factors and school district policies regarding inclusion all play a role in determining elementary school placements for children with disabilities.
0524: Elementary education
0529: Special education