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Need For Special Education Services Growing In Oregon Schools

The number of Oregon students needing special education services grew this school year. The new state numbers out Wednesday show growth in three disability areas.

More than 13 percent of students in Oregon public schools are identified for “special education” services. More than 85,000 children are identified as having a disability requiring special services. That’s about 800 more kids than a year ago.

Autism is responsible for about one-third of that increase. The number of students with autism has grown 18 percent in the last five years.

There’s also been steady growth in the number of children under five identified as having developmental delays. It’s up 16 percent since 2008.

Hundreds more students this year are listed in a broad category of chronic health problems. That designation includes students with attention deficit disorder, asthma, or leukemia.

The largest populations of special education students are kids with specific learning disabilities or with language impairments.  Those populations both shrank this year – but still account for more than 48,000 students, combined.

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