Israel sees 12 fold increase in autistic children in special ed since 2000
‘Israel’s increase is exceptional’: In 2000 there were 894 autistic children in special education, in 2018 the number has grown to 11,145
The number of autistic children in special education has grown more than 12-fold in less than two decades, from 894 in 2000 to 11,145 in 2018, a new report said.
The number of children with severe behavioral problems increased more than seven-fold during this period, from 2,347 to 17,483.
Overall, the number of children in special education has jumped 127 percent since 2005, while the total number of schoolchildren climbed only 33 percent, the study said. During this same period, the Education Ministry’s budget for special education rose 138 percent, while its budget for ordinary education climbed 71 percent.
Nachum Blass, who wrote the study for the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies, said the rise in special education students is a global phenomenon. Nevertheless, Israel’s increase is exceptional, he said, which suggests that “we need to examine the Education Ministry’s definitions. It’s not reasonable that there should be such a large gap between the increase in special-needs students and that of other students.”