Change Indicator

Children enrolled in special education in public schools, by type of impairment (percent of special education enrollment) in North Dakota

Children enrolled in special education in public schools, by type of impairment (percent of special education enrollment)

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Note: Non-consecutive years appear adjacent in the trend line
because one or more years have been deselected.

Why This Indicator Matters

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Definition and Source



This indicator represents the number of public school children ages 3 through 21 enrolled in special education by five types of impairment: emotionally disturbed, speech or language impairment, specific learning disability, intellectual disability, and autism. 

The denominator for the percentages is the total number of children enrolled in special education in respective geographic areas.

Emotionally Disturbed refers to a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance: 1) inability to learn what cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors; 2) inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers; 3) inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances; 4) a general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; 5) a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems. The term also includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted unless it is determined they have a serious emotional disturbance.

Speech or Language Impaired refers to a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

Specific Learning Disability refers to a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not apply to children who have learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; intellectual disability; emotional disturbance; or environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

Intellectual Disability refers to significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

Autism (i.e., Autism Spectrum Disorder) refers to a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engaging in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term autism does not apply if the child’s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance, as defined by Emotionally Disturbed. 

Data Source

North Dakota Department of Public Instruction


NA - Data is suppressed if the number of students enrolled (denominator) is less than 10. Additional suppression is applied if the percentage approached zero or 100 using ranges. 
GEOGRAPHY - Data reflect the school location, not the student's place of residence. 
DATE - Data on special education status is from the official December child count of the reference school year.
NOTES - Data reflect the primary impairment for each student. 

Last Updated

April 2024