Brief Report: Classifying Rates of Students with Autism and Intellectual Disability in North Carolina: Roles of Race and Economic Disadvantage.
We examined special education classifications among students aged 3-21 in North Carolina public schools, highlighting autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID). Results revealed variability by county in ASD and ID prevalence, and in county-level ratios of ID vs. ASD classifications. Sociodemographic characteristics predicted proportion of ASD or ID within a county; correlations showed an association between race and ID, but not ASD. County's median household income predicted proportion of students classified as ASD and ID (opposite directions), controlling for number of students and gender. Variability was unlikely related to biological incidence, and more likely related to district/school practices, or differences in resources. Disparities warrant further examination to ensure that North Carolina's youth with disabilities access necessary, appropriate resources.
Howard, J; Copeland, JN; Gifford, EJ; Lawson, J; Bai, Y; Heilbron, N; Maslow, G
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