Wei, X., Wagner, M., Christiano, E., Shattuck, P., & Yu, J.W. (2014). Special education services received by students with autism spectrum disorders from preschool through high school. Journal of Special Education, 48(3), 167-179.
Little is known about how special education services received by students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) differ by age, disability severity, and demographic characteristics. Using three national data sets, the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study, the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study, and the National Longitudinal Transition Study–2, this study examined the age trends in special education services received by students with ASDs from preschool through high school. Elementary school students with ASDs had higher odds of receiving adaptive physical education, specialized computer software or hardware, and special transportation, but lower odds of receiving learning strategies/study skills support than their preschool peers. Secondary school students had lower odds of receiving speech/language or occupational therapy and of having a behavior management program, but higher odds of receiving mental health or social work services than their elementary school peers. Disability severity and demographic characteristics were associated with differences in special education service receipt rates.