Mainstream and Special School Attendance among a Dutch Cohort of Children with Down Syndrome
van Wouwe, J.P.
van Gameren-Oosterom, H.B.M.
van Dommelen, P.
Object. To determine the level of mainstream education in a nationwide cohort of adolescents with Down Syndrome (DS), and to find characteristics related to mainstream or special school attendance. Method. Dutch children with DS born in 1992, 1993 or 1994, were assessed when 16–19 years old. Parents scored school enrolment between the age of 4–18 years, general characteristics and the levels of intellectual disability using the Dutch Social Competence Rating Scale. Associations between disability and years in mainstream school were assessed by ordinal logistic regression, adjusting for sex and parental education. Results. We collected data from 170 boys and 152 girls (response 63%); mean age 18.3 years (ranges 16.8–19.9). Intellectual disability was mostly moderate (43%). Most children (74%) entered mainstream education between 4 and 6 years of age. At 13 years 17% was in mainstream school and 7% stayed in up to 16 years. From the age of 8 years onwards the majority was in special education, while 6% never attended school. Girls were more often in mainstream school and stayed in longer. Level of disability was significantly associated with number of years in mainstream education. Conclusion. Three out of four Dutch children with DS entered mainstream primary education, however late entry and high dropout are common.
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Healthy for Life
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Plos One, 9 (9), e91737