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National Center for Special Education Research

Early School Transitions and the Social Behavior of Children with Disabilities:

NCSER 2009-3016
January 2009

Executive Summary

The Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS), funded by the U.S. Department of Education, is examining the characteristics of children receiving preschool special education, the services they receive, their transitions across educational levels, and their performance over time on assessments of academic and adaptive skills. PEELS includes a nationally representative sample of 3,104 children with disabilities who were 3 through 5 years of age when the study began in 2003-04. The children will be followed through 2009.

This report provides selected findings from the first three waves of data collection—school year 2003-04, school year 2004-05, and school year 2005-06. Any reported differences have been tested for statistical significance at the p < .05 level. These data were collected through several different instruments and activities, including a direct1 one-on-one assessment of the children, a telephone interview with the children's parents/guardians, and mail questionnaires to the teacher or service provider of each child.

1In Wave 3, the direct assessment included the following subtests: preLAS Simon Says, and Art Show; Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT); Woodcock-Johnson III: Letter-Word Identification, Applied Problems, and Quantitative Concepts; Leiter-R Attention Sustained; IGDI Picture Naming, Alliteration, Rhyming, and Segment Blending; and PIAT-R Reading Comprehension.