Man, times have changed.
What is especially odd is that almost all the growth in special education over the last three decades has occurred in just two of the 13 federal categories for disabilities: specific learning disability (SLD, which includes dyslexia) and “other health” (which includes attention-deficit disorders — ADD). The size of the remaining eleven federal categories combined has remained relatively flat, while SLD has tripled and “other health” has quadrupled. Those two categories account for 86 percent of the increase in special-education enrollments. If there really were a medical plague afflicting the nation’s children, we would expect to see an increase in more objectively diagnosed categories, like mental retardation, blindness, and deafness, and not just in the relatively mild and ambiguous categories of SLD and “other health.”