A longitudinal study of the subsequent educational placement of preschool handicapped students

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Teaching and Learning

First Committee Member

Sharon Vaughn - Committee Chair


The underlying assumptions of early intervention are that (a) it will have a positive effect on the long-term outcome of preschool-aged children with disabilities; (b) as a result, some of these children will no longer require special education and/or related services in elementary school and that many others will require fewer services; and (c) these changes will be permanent. Although many studies have evaluated the immediate effect of early intervention by conducting pre- and post-testing of the students, finding generally positive effects on intellect and/or development, and some have found a decrease in the number of children that continued in special education when they entered elementary school, few studies have followed these children for more than three years to find out if these changes are stable after second grade.The purpose of this study was to describe the changes in students' exceptionality classification and extent of time in special education over the course of six follow-up years. This study identified the percentage of the 266 children who were in a categorical, self-contained preschool intervention program in 1986-87 who: (a) continued to receive part- or fulltime special education services six years later (95.5%); (b) were receiving no special education services six years later (4.5%); (c) did not receive special education services in kindergarten, but were enrolled in special education services again in later years (2.6%); (d) changed exceptionality classification over the follow-up years (51.5%); and (e) went from fulltime special education services in preschool to part-time services by 1992-93 (15.4%).It is important to note that, in addition to the 12 students who no longer required special services in 1992-93, 41 students were receiving only part-time services. This indicates a significant increase in the amount of time each of these students spent in general education activities each week.


Education, Early Childhood; Education, Special

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text