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Minerva Pediatrica 2017 Feb 17

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4946.17.04747-8

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Disability and inclusive education in an Italian Region: analysis of the data for the school year 2012-2013

Evamaria LANZARINI, Antonia PARMEGGIANI

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy


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BACKGROUND: In Italy, pupils with disabilities enroll in mainstream schools and attend the ordinary classes at all educational levels. For the past twelve years, the Region Emilia Romagna has witnessed an increase in the number of children who are in need of special support. The aim of the study was to identify the causes of disability in children attending public schools during the school year 2012-2013.
METHODS: The study was designed as a cross-sectional survey. Data were obtained from the Regional Education Department, and divided into categories based on clinical diagnoses. Statistical analyses were performed to analyze the distribution of the diagnostic categories among Provinces and school grades. The most recurrent combinations of illnesses were identified.
RESULTS: Intellectual disability was the most common cause of impairment (38,5%), often associated with epilepsy and autism. Hyperkinetic disorder associated with specific disorders of scholastic skills was the most recurrent combination of diagnoses. Rare diseases were diagnosed in 4,1%, whereas 5,0% of cases were affected by Psychopathological disorders.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study is the first in Italy for its focus on the causes of children’s disabilities in an Italian region. Being familiar with the causes of disability affecting the children of a territory is important to allocate the available resources efficiently, and to ensure all children’s effective social integration.


KEY WORDS: Mainstreaming education - Special needs education - Disabled children – School - Developmental disabilities

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