The information presented below is a brief overview of this state's special education support system. Please contact the state education agency or follow the included links for more detailed information.

Educational definitions of disabilities

  • Autism - consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • Intellectual disability - uses intellectual impairment and is consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • Emotional/behavioral disorder - uses emotional impairment and is consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

More detailed information is available at eligibility definitions.

Numbers of students with disabilities served

For the 2012 child count, Massachusetts reported the following:

  • Autism - 13,228 students
  • Intellectual disability - 10,155 students
  • Emotional/behavioral disorder - 13,932 students

Support service structure

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Special Education monitors and supports the special education services provided by public schools.

Task forces

The Governor's Special Commission Relative to Autism submitted its final report containing recommendations for improving autism services in March 2013.

Statewide disability clearinghouse

Massachusetts does not have a statewide disability clearinghouse.

Disability scholarship program

Massachusetts does not have a statewide disability scholarship program.

Insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorder services

Massachusetts enacted legislation related to insurance coverage specifically for autism spectrum disorder-related services. See Massachusetts insurance for more details.

TRICARE-approved applied behavior analysis providers

As of May 2013, Massachusetts had 33 supervisors (direct service providers) and 20 tutors (assistants requiring supervision to provide services).

Parent training and information center

The Federation for Children with Special Needs is Massachusetts' statewide parent training and information center.

Secondary transition resources

Information and resources related to secondary transition in Massachusetts are available at secondary transition.

Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission

Massachusetts is a member of the Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission.

Special education resources

Information on resources for families is available from the local school district and the parent training and information centers listed above. Additional information is available at parent information.

Student speaking at front of class