More than 1 in 5 children diagnosed with disabilities by kindergarten:
The report also showed that:
- A higher percentage of boys were diagnosed with disabilities than girls.
- Children with English as a Second Language (ESL) were more likely to be diagnosed with a severe delay involving language. This raises the possibility that many young children with ESL are mistakenly diagnosed as having severe delay involving language.
- A high percentage of young children with no reported disabilities are struggling in their development in Alberta. When children with disabilities were removed from EDI baseline results, the data showed that 22 per cent of the remaining children were still experiencing great difficulty in one or more areas of development.
The special needs report was completed by ECMap as part of its five-year provincial study of early childhood development in Alberta. EDI data was collected and analyzed for more than 70,200 kindergarten-aged children between 2009 and 2013 to create the first Alberta baseline results.
ECMap was funded by Alberta Education and based at the Community-University Partnership for the Study of Children, Youth and Families (CUP) at the University of Alberta.
The report can be downloaded here