Refresher on Immunizations addressed how SB 277 removed the personal belief exemption, and how this bill was motivated by a high-profile measles outbreak. The article went on to explain the exemptions, how SB 277 can not exclude students with an IEP, so I realized it is time to check in on those IEP statistics.

CDE Fingertip Facts reports that in the 2022-23 school year, California educated 5,852,544 students in grades K-12.   Special education in total accounts for almost 14% of our student population.

According to California Department of Education, autism stands out as a significant category for special education services, with 149,925 of 813,528 students receiving special education due to autism, slightly less than 20% of special ed.

In March of 2023, the CDC released updated information  on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), in its Morbidity and Mortality Surveillance Summaries. In short, California has the highest prevalence of ASD in the surveyed areas at 45 kids per 1000. Maryland was the lowest at 23 kids per 1000.  There is a significant geographical factor here; either California kids are exposed to whatever causes autism as a higher rate, or California kids are somehow more susceptible.  About 40% of these children are classified as having an intellectual disability.

Most heartbreaking of all, in Refresher on Immunizations, we discussed the current recovery rate for the measles as 99.6%, but the recovery rate for whatever is causing autism would be, if we do the same math, 95.5%.

Autism is a major issue for California schools. This disorder is responsible for about 20% of special education services.  California ranks the highest in percent of kids affected by autism.  Studia Nova’s individualized education plan works very well for many students with learning disabilities, but we have not done enough to address this 21st century problem.  Stay tuned, we will begin to apply our research-based education methods to this challenge.