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Significant Developmental Delay

Definition in State Rule: Significant Developmental Delay

Significant developmental delay means children, ages 3 through 9 years of age, who are experiencing significant delays in the areas of physical, cognition, communication, social-emotional, or adaptive development. PI 11.36 (11)(a), Wis. Admin. Code

Incidence and Disproportionality

Incidence

For the 2020-2021 school year, 11,214 students (1.4%) of total public school enrollment (829,935 students) were identified as having a significant developmental delay. The 11,214 students with a significant developmental delay made up 9.5% of all students with IEPs (117,969). In Wisconsin, IEP teams are not required to identify secondary or tertiary disability criteria areas and thus the number of students identified as having a secondary or tertiary significant developmental delay is not reflected in this data. To view additional data including district level information, go to the WI DPI public WISEdash portal.

Disproportionality

In Wisconsin, like many other states, we see district data demonstrating race-based patterns of identification for some disability criteria areas compared to others. Although districts rarely demonstrate these patterns in the area of significant developmental delay, as an equity issue, we strongly encourage all districts to disaggregate their special education data to ensure evaluation practices and procedures are culturally responsive and address bias when conducting and analyzing assessments used to make eligibility decisions. Go to the DPI Culturally Responsive Problem Solving web page for more information.

Significant Developmental Delay Criteria

Significant Developmental Delay Criteria

§300.304 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) outlines two purpose of special education evaluations (i) Whether the child is a child with a disability; and (ii) The content of the child’s IEP, including information related to enabling the child to be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum (or for a preschool child, to participate in appropriate activities). The disability category criteria worksheets only assist IEP teams with (i) and are not sufficient in completing an evaluation and developing a student’s IEP. To ensure compliance with implementing a full, individual, and comprehensive evaluation, go to the WI DPI Comprehensive Special Education Evaluation web page.

Worksheets and Guidelines

Other Special Education Resources


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